MTHFR Fertility

The Mighty Vitamin B12: Boosting Fertility, Supporting Pregnancy, and Enhancing Early Childhood Development

When it comes to nutrition, one vitamin that plays a crucial role in fertility, pregnancy, and early childhood development is vitamin B12. This essential nutrient is involved in numerous physiological processes and has been linked to various health benefits. In this blog, we’ll explore the significance of vitamin B12 in fertility, pregnancy, and the early stages of a child’s life.

Fertility and Vitamin B12:

Optimal fertility relies on a well-balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in fertility for both men and women. Here’s how:

  1. DNA Synthesis and Repair: Vitamin B12 is involved in the synthesis and repair of DNA, the genetic material in our cells. It assists in the production of nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA, ensuring proper DNA replication and maintenance. Healthy DNA is the most important factor to prevent miscarriage.
  2. Methylation Support: B12 is a key player in the methylation process, which is essential for various biochemical reactions in the body. Methylation is responsible for regulating gene expression, DNA repair, neurotransmitter production, and detoxification processes. Adequate B12 is necessary for the uptake and utilisation of methylfolate. 
  3. Sperm Production: Adequate levels of vitamin B12 are essential for the production of healthy sperm. It helps in maintaining the integrity and quality of sperm, which is crucial for successful fertilization.
  4. Ovulation: In women, vitamin B12 aids in regulating hormone levels, including those involved in ovulation. It supports the maturation and release of eggs, increasing the chances of conception.
  5. Hormonal Balance: Vitamin B12 promotes the balance of reproductive hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, which are essential for a healthy reproductive system.

Pregnancy and Vitamin B12:

During pregnancy, the nutritional needs of both the mother and developing fetus increase significantly. Vitamin B12 is particularly important during this period due to its involvement in various processes:

  1. Neural Tube Development: Adequate levels of vitamin B12 during early pregnancy are crucial for proper neural tube formation in the developing fetus. B12 Supplements helps prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
  2. Red Blood Cell Production: Vitamin B12 plays a role in the formation of red blood cells, which are essential for carrying oxygen to both the mother and the developing baby. Sufficient vitamin B12 levels help prevent anemia during pregnancy.
  3. Fetal Brain Development: Vitamin B12 supports the growth and development of the fetal brain and nervous system. Sufficient intake is linked to improved cognitive function and reduced risk of developmental delays.

Early Childhood Development and Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 continues to be vital for optimal growth and development during early childhood. Here’s why:

  1. Brain Function: Adequate vitamin B12 intake supports healthy brain development in infants and young children. It is involved in the production of myelin, a protective sheath around nerve fibers that aids in efficient signaling within the brain.
  2. Energy Metabolism: Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in energy metabolism, converting food into energy that young children need for growth, physical activity, and overall development.
  3. Immune System Support: Vitamin B12 supports a robust immune system, helping children fight off infections and stay healthy during their early years.

Sources of Vitamin B12:

To ensure sufficient vitamin B12 intake, include the following foods in your diet:

  • Animal-based foods: Meat (especially beef, lamb, and poultry), fish (such as salmon and trout), dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt), and eggs.
  • Fortified foods: Certain breakfast cereals, plant-based milk alternatives (fortified with B12), and nutritional yeast… 
  • Supplements: In some cases, supplements may be recommended, especially for individuals following strict vegetarian or vegan diets, as plant-based sources of B12 are limited.

Different Types of B12 Supplements: Which form is best?

Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxycobalamin, and Methylcobalamin

When it comes to supplementing with vitamin B12, there are three primary forms commonly available: cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, and methylcobalamin. While all three forms are effective in addressing B12 deficiencies, it’s essential to understand their differences and potential benefits. Let’s explore each type:


  1. Cyanocobalamin is the most commonly found and inexpensive form of vitamin B12. It is a synthetic compound that consists of a cyanide molecule attached to a cobalamin (B12) molecule. Although the cyanide content is extremely small and not considered harmful, it does require conversion by the body to the active forms of B12.


  • Stability: Cyanocobalamin is highly stable and has a longer shelf life compared to other forms of B12.
  • Cost-effective: It is generally the most affordable form of B12 supplementation.
  • Conversion: Cyanocobalamin can be converted to the active forms of B12 in the body.


  • Conversion Process: The body needs to convert cyanocobalamin into the active forms (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin) before utilisation, which may not be efficient for everyone.
  • Potential Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the cyanide component, although it is rare and usually well-tolerated.

In clinical practice, we try to avoid this type of B12 as much as possible. 


  1. Hydroxocobalamin is a natural form of vitamin B12 that is produced by certain bacteria. It is often used in injectable form to address B12 deficiencies, particularly in cases of severe deficiency or when rapid supplementation is needed.


  • Longer Half-Life: Hydroxocobalamin has a longer half-life in the body compared to other forms of B12, which means it remains active for a more extended period, requiring less frequent dosing.
  • Detoxification Support: Hydroxocobalamin has the ability to bind to and neutralise certain toxins, making it beneficial in cases of cyanide poisoning.


  • Availability: Oral supplements of hydroxocobalamin may be less commonly found compared to cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. It is more commonly used in injectable form, administered by healthcare professionals.
  • Limited Research: There is relatively less research available on the benefits and absorption of hydroxocobalamin compared to other forms of B12.


  1. Methylcobalamin is the active form of vitamin B12 that is readily utilized by the body. It does not require conversion and is involved in various biological processes, including energy metabolism and nerve cell maintenance.


  • Bioavailability: Methylcobalamin is the form of B12 that is naturally present and utilized in the body, making it highly bioavailable.
  • Nerve Health: Methylcobalamin supports nerve health and function, making it beneficial for individuals with neuropathy or nerve-related conditions.
  • Cognitive Support: It is believed to play a role in cognitive function and may contribute to improved memory and overall brain health.


  • Stability: Methylcobalamin is less stable compared to cyanocobalamin and may have a shorter shelf life, especially in oral supplement form.
  • Cost: Methylcobalamin supplements tend to be slightly more expensive than cyanocobalamin due to the additional processing required.


Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in fertility, pregnancy, and early childhood development. From aiding in fertility and supporting a healthy pregnancy to promoting proper brain development in infants and young children, this essential nutrient offers a wide range of benefits. Remember to include vitamin B12-rich foods in your diet or consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you meet your nutritional needs during these critical stages of life. In regards to the type of B12 to use, we prefer methylcobalamin such as this one: MTHFR Wellbeing B12 Methly Drops – 30mL

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