Methyl B12

B12 (cobalamin) is a vitamin “family” with five unique family members, each with its own task:

  • cyanocobalamin
  • hydroxycobalamin
  • adenosylcobalamin
  • glutathionylcobalamin
  • methylcobalamin (Methyl B12)

Out of the B12 family, only methyl-B12 has the ability to activate the methionine/homocysteine biochemical pathway directly. It is this pathway that is responsible for the body’s entire sulfur-based detoxification system, and for the formation of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) the universal methyl donor. This pathway is also responsible for the formation of homocysteine, the “crossroads” molecule that is responsible either to reform methionine and SAMe or create cysteine, taurine, and glutathione. Glutathione is the body’s primary intracellular antioxidant and is responsible for many detoxification reactions, most notably those that involve the binding and removal of mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, tin, antimony, and many other lesser-known heavy metals that also bind to glutathione’s sulfur group.

Dr. Jim Neubrander has made a tremendous contribution to the understanding of the clinical use of Methyl B12 in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. You can visit Dr. Neubrander’s website for more information on Methyl B12.

The most common side effects of Methyl B12 are increased activity levels with or without stimming, sleep disturbances, and increased mouthing of objects.


  • James, S.J., Cutler, P., Melnyk, S., Jernigan, S., Janak, l., Gaylor, D.W., Nuebrander, J.A. Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impairment methylation capacity in children with autism. Am J Clin Nutr 2004 Dec;80(6):1611-7.
  • Pangborn, J. and Baker, S.M., Autism: Effective Biomedical Treatments. Section 2: p 4-6.

All information, data and material contained, presented or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of Autism Canada, or as providing legal or medical advice. All treatment decisions should be made by the individual in consultation with a licensed health care provider.