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doi: 10.3810/psm.2008.12.9
The Physician and Sportsmedicine: Volume 36: No.1
The Critical Role of Vitamin B12
Ilia Volkov, MD
Abstract: Vitamin B12 affects the peripheral and central nervous systems, bone marrow, skin and mucous membranes, bones, and vessels, as well as the normal development of children. Although there is undoubtedly an association between vitamin B12 and homocysteinemia, their relative influence on cardiovascular events is controversial. Some large studies confirm that a supplementation with group B vitamins did not reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events or all-cause mortality in patients with vascular disease. The outcomes of these and similar trials could have been different had the researchers considered the following points: Using vitamin B12 or B-complex as secondary prevention of cardiovascular events for patients with irreversible changes of blood vessels is probably in error. Rather, vitamin B12 or B-complex should be used as primary prevention. Also, using high doses of vitamin B12 will probably be more effective than using low doses of "group B vitamins" The effect of vitamin B12 on the proliferation of malignant cells has been examined in vivo and in vitro in numerous studies. Their results indicate that methylcobalamin inhibits the proliferation of malignant cells and propose the possibility of methylcobalamin as a candidate of potentially useful agents for the treatment for some malignant tumors. There are many articles indicating the increasing prevalence of low vitamin B12 level in different segments of general population. In order to prevent serious health problems, vitamin B12 routine fortification should be seriously considered and discussed.

Keywords: vitamin B12; homocysteine; malignancy; vitamin B12 routine fortification; recurrent aphthous stomatitis