Vitamin B12 is the Ultimate Wingman! In this week’s book excerpt, we’ll discuss how B12 helps both folate and boring-basic-biotin, and why this makes B12 a good energy drink ingredient.

B12 as Folate’s Wingman

Remember when we talked about what folate does? Cells that rely on folate for growth and maturation also depend on B12 because it recycles folate, restoring it for the next round of DNA synthesis. Without B12, folate gets used up and stuck with a single carbon group. That’s like trying to take a cup of coffee from someone when you’re already holding a cup of water in each hand. To make sure sells get enough DNA to mature and divide, B12 and folate have to work as a team.

But that’s not the only vitamin B12 assists:

B12 as a side-kick to Boring Basic Biotin

One molecule of fat has three fatty acids, like a three-pronged fork. Each fatty acid is a chain of carbons. Each chain gets oxidized (broken down) two carbons at a time. This becomes a problem when there’s only thee left, so a special reaction takes place for the last three in the chain.

For the science nerds: That reaction is the transformation of a 3-carbon molecule (methylmalonyl CoA) to a 4-carbon molecule (succinyl CoA). CoA is short for coenzyme A.

Vitamin B12 helps Boring Basic Biotin handle these odd numbered units so they can get metabolized into energy through the Krebs cycle.

Why B12 makes a good energy drink ingredient

The Krebs cycle is a giant wheel of reactions that leads to massive amount of energy per turn. Since B12 helps fats get “into shape” (as in, from odd-to-even numbered) to enter the Krebs cycle, B12 is facilitating the production of energy. It may not be as boring as biotin or as amazing as niacin (my favorite B-vitamin), but B12 gets the award for the best team player.


To learn more about B12 and the other B-vitamins, stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide (now on Audible!!!).

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