Best Brain Pill of 2019
Expert rating: By Richard (Senior Reviewer) April 11, 2019 Advertising Disclosure
Methyl-B12 by Jarrow is a daily nutritional supplement that is taken for mental performance and other basic needs. Methyl-B12 is advertised as being useful for increasing energy, heart health, and memory function.
It is useful for helping to avoid cognitive decline and the negative effects of aging, and it is thought to be useful for helping to metabolize fat. Methyl-B12 promotes better sleep schedules and is necessary for the DNA synthesis process.
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There is only one main active ingredient in Jarrow’s Methyl-B12 supplements:
Methylcobalamin: A concentrated form of vitamin B12. B12, also known as cobalamin, is one of the most fundamental chemicals in the body. We need it in order to survive and function properly, and yet our body is not able to manufacture it on its own. Methylcobalamin is thought to be better absorbed than other forms of B12, and it may help improve the regulation of homocysteine levels in ways that regular cobalamin.
We get B12 by ingesting red meat, fish, and dairy products, and it can also be manufactured in a lab through a bacterial fermentation process. B12 is a key part of energy production and cell metabolism. It is responsible for our ability to synthesize DNA and process both fatty and amino acids.
Mentally, vitamin B12 is necessary for optimal performance. It is part of the synthesizing process for a number of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters. It also plays a key role in myelin production and maintenance, which is critical for learning.
Myelin is the substance that wraps out neurons and allows for easy transmission of thought signals. The learning process involves the myelination of certain pathways to allow for the ease of reaccessing those channels. Myelin gets damaged over time and needs to be repaired, and new myelin is always required in order to keep the brain limber and responsive.
Our body can have a harder and harder time processing vitamin B12 as we age, often times necessitating B12 supplementation. It is estimated that one in five women over the age of 50 is deficient in vitamin B12, a condition whose symptoms can include:
Most vitamin B12 found in over the counter supplements is cyanocobalamin, a less pure form of the vitamin that’s bonded with the poisonous chemical cyanide. While there is not nearly enough cyanide in a B12 supplement that it could negatively affect the wellbeing of an otherwise healthy person, it does make the B12 less bioavailable and over time may have some negative impacts on brain function.
Methylcobalamin is a more concentrated form of the vitamin that is more easily absorbed. Without having to separate and process the cyanide, the body is far more able to take advantage of the beneficial effects of the B12.
As beneficial as B12 is for humans, it is rare that someone will actually need B vitamin supplementation. Most people that eat healthy, well rounded diets tend to get enough B12, which does not become more effective in higher quantities.
Jarrow’s Methyl-B12 supplement contains 1000 micrograms of B12, or about 16,670% of your average daily value. This is far more vitamin B12 than the body is capable of processing at one time, and it is likely that much of Methyl-B12 will be eliminated without ever having been absorbed.
It is rare that people will have bad reactions to vitamin B12, as it is so critical to proper biological functionality. There is considerable debate, however, about the long-term benefits of overloading on B12.
Without B12 people can become sluggish, depressed, and lose mental acuity. Most people, however, encounter enough B12 regularly in their diets that it is rare that they will need to seek outside help for raising their B12 levels.
There is also very few benefit to the ridiculous quantities of B12 that are found in products like Methyl-B12. The body is limited in its absorption abilities, so the excess quantities do not translate into excess performance.
Overall, B12 is not effective as a study drug or performance booster. Its effects will not be perceptible to the vast majority of consumers, and there will be no measurable increase in their short-term cognitive capacity.
The only people that will see significant changes in their mental performance are those people that have acute B vitamin deficiencies, and those people should consult a medical professional about their options. Individuals with B12 deficiencies usually have issues with absorption through the stomach and intestines, so B12 shots are usually more effective than simply trying to ingest higher and higher doses.
Jarrow’s Methyl-B12 supplements come in lozenge form, which is often thought to be more effective than pills or capsules. Lozenges enter the blood stream more directly and so they spend less time being broken down in the stomach, which is what prevents some supplements from being as effective as they are advertised.
Our team of researchers recommend that users, especially those that try to keep vegan or vegetarian lifestyles, take some sort of broad B vitamin supplement. It should not, however, be taken with the expectation of achieving any sort of nootropic benefits.
It is best when simply used as a form of maintenance ensuring basic biofunctionality. It may pair well with some study drugs and nootropic aids, however it should not be considered one itself.
Methyl-B12 is very inexpensive and widely available, which makes it an easy option to combine with more potent supplements. The prices offered by the independent retailers that carry it online tend to be in this range:
This is about average for a basic vitamin product, but far less than most effective nootropic supplements. It is not considered a more cost-effective option, however, as users looking for nootropic benefits will have to purchase a secondary supplement as well to see any concrete benefits.
The manufacturer of Methyl-B12 is a German company called Jarrow Formulas that specializes in vitamins, nutrients, and other dietary supplements. They list their contact info as:
Phone Number: (310) 204-6936
Address: Jarrow does not choose to publish their physical address online.
Jarrow has had a number of conflicts with the FDA. They are currently involved in discussions about the information they are allowed to publish on their labels and promotional materials.
The reviews from previous customers about Methyl-B12 are somewhat mixed. It has received positive reviews from some past users, however it has also received quite a bit of negative feedback. Here are some of the things that people have been writing about Methyl-B12:
“I tried Methyl-B12 for a couple days and I started breaking out. I stopped and it went away, but then tried taking it one more time and the exact same thing happened.”
“I started taking this at the same time a s several other family members and we all noticed spikes in irritability, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed. This was really out of character for all of us.”
“Got a weird shock feeling in my fingers and toes when I took this stuff. Maybe I should be taking lower doses or something, but it sure doesn’t seem to be good for my nerves.
There were far more reports of side effects related to taking Methyl-B12 than would be expected from a pure B12 supplement. Side effects ranged from central nervous system issues, to gastro intestinal problems, to problems with mood and mental function.
Ordinarily, our team of nutrition experts would recommend a vitamin B12 supplement, if only to be paired with a more effective nootropic agent. The customer reviews of Methyl-B12, on the other hand, made them worried about the overall quality of the product.
B12 does not tend to have side effects or health complications in the vast majority of people. Methyl-B12’s reviews, however, featured far more negative reviews and accounts of side effects than a product like this should be getting.
Regardless of its safety, Methyl-B12 is not ever going to be an effective study tool or nootropic booster. Their extremely limited product is not capable of providing any kind of mental boost in the vast majority of their users.
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