Vitamin B12 Toothpaste – B12 and Clean Teeth
Vitamin B12 can be absorbed through the oral mucosa. This so-called ‘sublingual absorption’ is considered just as effective as intake through digestion. The idea of enriching toothpaste with vitamin B12 is therefore actually an obvious one: brushing whilst simultaneously absorbing vitamin B12 from a supplement. This is an option that is of particular interest to vegans.
Vitamin B12 Toothpaste Proven in Studies
A 2012 study carried out by the German institute for alternative and sustainable diet (IFANE) in Gießen regarding the effectiveness of a vitamin B12 toothpaste produced by the firm Sante, which was suggested by the German vegetarian union (VEBU)1 came to the conclusion that the toothpaste made clear and noticeable improvements to the vitamin B12 markers in the body when used exclusively.
The toothpaste which was tested delivers around 3 µg of vitamin B12 through the active ingredient cyanocobalamin when used twice daily. The advantage of the paste is above all the long contact with the oral mucosa and consequently a good sublingual absorption.
The study consisted of 90 subjects, who were split into two groups, with one group given the B12 toothpaste and one a placebo toothpaste. In both cases, the vitamin B12 parameters in serum, homocysteine and holotranscobalamin were measured before the study and then after five weeks of use.
The B12 concentration in serum increased in the B12 group by an average of 26%, but decreased in value in the placebo group. Holotranscobalamin improved in the B12 group by around 92% on average. For a few subjects who had very low initial levels, this figure actually tripled. By comparison, the placebo group saw no significant changes in the value of holotranscobalamin. The level of homocysteine decreased in the B12 group.
The toothpaste therefore demonstrated a surprisingly good effect.
Vitamin B12 Toothpaste as a Dietary Supplement
The good values produced in the test are surprising given the relatively low levels of vitamin B12. Whether these results could be reproduced in a large clinical study is questionable. Current studies comparing young, healthy people with a relatively low requirement2 and less well, elderly people with a significantly higher requirement3 are being undertaken with 6 µg and 500 µg respectively, in order to normalise the B12 markers.
However, it does appear that vitamin B12 toothpaste is well suited to performing as a dietary supplement. When taken in accordance with enriched foods, the toothpaste could also help ensure a healthy vitamin B12 supply for vegans.The price for vitamin B12 toothpaste is around 5 euros, and thus clearly higher than an ordinary bio-toothpaste, but is still reasonably affordable.
2 Mustafa Vakur Bor, Kristina M von Castel-Roberts, Gail PA Kauwell, Sally P Stabler, Robert H Allen, David R Maneval, Lynn B Bailey Ebba Nexo „Daily intake of 4 to 7 µg dietary vitamin B-12 is associated with steady concentrations of vitamin B-12–related biomarkers in a healthy young population“ Am J Clin Nutr 2010 91: 3 571-577; First published online January 13, 2010. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.28082.
3 Park, S. and Johnson, M. A. (2006), What is an Adequate Dose of Oral Vitamin B12 in Older People with Poor Vitamin B12 Status?. Nutrition Reviews, 64: 373–378. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2006.tb00222.x