What is Coenzyme B?

Synthia L. Rose

Coenzyme B is a metabolically active form of vitamin B that combines the vitamin with apoenzymes to result in instant energy. Apoenzymes are proteins which act as catalysts to make the coenzyme form of vitamin B much more powerful and effective than standard forms of the vitamin. Some reports suggest that coenzyme B has five times more metabolic power than regular vitamin B, meaning it can rev up the metabolism for much more daily exertion and activity. There are nine different B vitamins; however, vitamins B12, B6, B5, and B1 are most likely to be sold in coenzyme form. Often, these four particular B vitamins are sold in coenzyme complexes with the entire family of B vitamins.

A methylcobalamin injection, a type of coenzyme B12.
A methylcobalamin injection, a type of coenzyme B12.

The benefit of coenzyme B is that it does not require conversion by the body in order to work. The energy boost from vitamin B typically comes after the liver processes and metabolizes vitamin B, turning it into an active, bioavailable nutrient. The livers of some people, however, do not successfully convert vitamins to active forms; this could be a result of poor nutrition, disease, or a liver disorder. In those cases, the vitamin supplements are wasted and merely excreted during urination. Another benefit is that the energy offered by the coenzyme vitamin does not result in a one-time surge, but in a steady increase in vigor that generally lasts all day.

Coenzyme B supplements may benefit people who suffer from lethargy and fatigue.
Coenzyme B supplements may benefit people who suffer from lethargy and fatigue.

Elderly people and those recovering from sickness and general lethargy typically use the coenzyme B supplement to feel more vital. This advanced form of vitamin B is also taken by healthy people, particularly athletes and fitness buffs who simply want more stamina. Nutritionists claim the supplement can fortify the immune system. By blocking homocysteine, the main culprit in heart disease, coenzyme B can also strengthen the heart.

Companies that sell Coenzyme B and other dietary supplements are loosely monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Companies that sell Coenzyme B and other dietary supplements are loosely monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Coenzyme B protects and preserves vision, skin, blood, and nerve cells. Some studies suggest it can prevent birth defects if taken by pregnant women. The standard recommended dosage of coenzyme B is 5 mg a day; that suggestion is typically for 5 mg of B12, 5 mg of B6, 5 mg of B5, and 5 mg of B1.

Elderly people may use coenzyme B to help recover from an illness or have more energy.
Elderly people may use coenzyme B to help recover from an illness or have more energy.

Users ensure they are buying the coenzyme form of the B vitamin by looking for its distinct names on supplement labels. The coenzyme forms of B12 are dibencozide or methylcobalamin; these are different from the regular form of B12, which is cyanocobalamin. Pantethine is the coenzyme form of B5. For B6, the coenzyme form is pyridoxal-5-phosphate. Cocarboxylase is the coenzyme form of B1.

Vitamins B12, B6, B5, and B1 are likely to be sold in coenzyme form.
Vitamins B12, B6, B5, and B1 are likely to be sold in coenzyme form.
Pregnant women may benefit from taking coenzyme B supplements.
Pregnant women may benefit from taking coenzyme B supplements.

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