Very noticeable improvements in brain fog using Dr Greg Russell-Jones's transdermal B12 oils (which provide a similar dose to B12 injections)

Hip

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For the last few months I have been using the methylcobalamin + adenosylcobalamin vitamin B12 transdermal oil developed by Dr Greg Russell-Jones in Australia, which he recommends for ME/CFS.

This transdermal B12 oil has made very noticeable improvements in my brain fog and cognitive clarity.

The cognitive clarity effects of this B12 oil kick in fast: I find within 2 or 3 hours of rubbing the B12 oil into my skin, I start to feel increased cognitive clarity; and this mental clarity lasts for around 3 days on just one transdermal dose of the B12 oil.

So you may only need to apply the B12 oil once every 2 or 3 days — though Greg recommends the B12 oil should be used daily if you are aiming for sustained improvements in your ME/CFS.

Greg has a PhD in biochemistry, and an in-depth knowledge of B12. Greg's website on which sells his various B12 oils is here: www.b12oils.com



This is the first time I've obtained cognitive improvements from B12. Some years ago, I tried B12 hydroxocobalamin injections, but without noticing any benefits. And I did not get this type of cognitive boost from sublingual methylcobalamin (although I never tried methylcobalamin injections). However I found the methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin forms of B12 in Greg's product have a clearcut beneficial effect on my brain fog.

Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are the 2 active forms of B12, whereas hydroxocobalamin is an inactive form that has to be converted to the active forms in the body.

I found it easy to notice the cognitive benefits of this B12 oil, because they kick in within hours. So I can be feeling pretty brain fogged at the beginning of the day, then apply the B12 oil, and within a few hours I am in a state of significantly increased cognitive clarity.



Greg I believe uses a microemulsion skin penetration enhancer technology in his B12 oils that allows B12 to efficiently penetrate across the skin and into the body (he authored a paper on microemulsion transdermal delivery, and has expertise in such penetration enhancers).

Greg estimates that with this penetration enhancer, around 80% of the B12 in his oil is absorbed when rubbed into the skin, which means the B12 doses you get from this oil are comparable to B12 injections.

In fact Greg says B12 oil may be better than injections, because the B12 oil provides a slow release mechanism as it penetrates the skin, allowing the body to better utilize the B12, compared to the short-lived spike in B12 levels that you get from a B12 injection.



Greg's Adenosyl/Methyl B12 oil comes in a pump bottle, and the pump measures out a dose of 0.25 ml of oil, which contains adenosylcobalamin 1.8 mg and methylcobalamin 0.7 mg — a total of 2.5 mg (2500 mcg) of vitamin B12. You pump a dose of this oil into your hand, and then rub into your skin.

Remember, it's estimated around 80% of this B12 is absorbed, so you can see that you are getting high doses into your system: you are going get the equivalent of a 80% x 2.5 = 2 mg B12 injection from one dose of the B12 oil.

The cost is $50 for one bottle containing up to 60 x 2.5 mg B12 doses (or $40 a bottle if you buy 3 or more); it sounds a little expensive, but if you compare that to the cost of sixty B12 injections, it's quite good value.

The skin should not be wet or damp when you apply the B12 oil, because Greg says this will reduce absorption. With B12 oils containing methylcobalamin, it may be best to apply to skin areas that are covered by clothes and so not exposed to light (eg, your belly), as methylcobalamin breaks down under light exposure.

Bottle of B12 transdermal oil (left). Single dose of B12 oil on hand (right).
B12 transdermal oil bottle.jpg One pump of B12 oil.jpg



I noticed two side effects from the B12 oil, though (but both have solutions):

(1) Sometimes around 2 hours after applying the B12 oil, I would get hit with a wave of increased tiredness and increased brain fog that would last for around 4 hours before clearing up. I think this may be due to a transient hypokalemia (low blood potassium), which high doses of B12 are known to sometimes cause.

But I found that if I take around 400 mg or so of oral potassium at the same time as applying the B12 oil, this prevents the wave of tiredness (you get around 400 mg of potassium in a banana). I contacted Greg about this, and he thinks the hypokalemia arises from B12's effect on aldosterone, a hormone which controls the blood sodium/potassium balance.

(2) Often this B12 oil containing methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin would cause an overstimulation effect. My hunch was this might be due to over-methylation, so I started experimenting with taking oral niacinamide 500 mg at the same time as applying the B12 oil (niacinamide supposedly inhibits methylation, I've read), and it seems to counter the overstimulation.
 
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Hip

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Note that Greg stressed the importance of taking vitamin B2 20 mg daily with the vitamin B12 oils as a cofactor.

And in addition, taking each day the cofactors:
Molybdenum 100 to 300 mcg
Iodine 150 to 300 mcg
Selenium 55 to 200 mcg

The selenium he says should be in the form of sodium selenite (Twinlab have a sodium selenite supplement); he says the selenomethionine form of selenium is less effective for B12 cofactor purposes. Note that selenITE is not to be confused with selenATE.

One supplement recommended by Greg that contains all the above cofactors is Life Extension's Two-Per-Day Multivitamin and Mineral (though note that this contains alpha lipoic acid, which some ME/CFS patients react badly to).

These minerals are needed to convert vitamin B2 into its two active forms: FAD (flavin adenine dinucleotide) and FMN (flavin mononucleotide). FMN is also called riboflavin-5′-phosphate (R5P). Without these minerals, he said you can get a functional deficiency of B2, where although your B2 levels are normal, not enough B2 is transformed into the active FMN and FAD forms.

Greg said without FMN and FAD, you cannot convert from one type of B12 to another, and you cannot cycle B12.

He thinks people do not recover from ME/CFS because of a lack of B12 and a functional B2 deficiency. He told me he knows many who got rid of their ME/CFS they had for over 10 years using his protocol of B12 oil plus the above cofactors.

I have been taking the above cofactors daily while using the B12 oil. However, I am not observing any cumulative improvements in my ME/CFS since I started taking the B12 oil and cofactors at the beginning of Nov 2018 (though I only take the B12 oil once every 3 days, because daily administration can cause me overstimulation).
 
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cph13

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Hi Hip! Great write-up, as usual. How long were you taking the co factors before you added the b12oils?

There are 2 FB groups Understanding b12 deficiency and Understanding b2/12 OAT Markers that are under the direction/closely monitored by Dr. Greg. Lots of good information being collected to share. Available in their files. Knowing your journey and your achievements you could be an asset to the group. Happy healing.
 

Hip

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How long were you taking the co factors before you added the b12oils?
I started the B12 oil at the beginning of Nov 2018, and started the cofactors around 10 days before that.

Although vitamin B2 25 mg (as part of a B complex) and high dose selenomethionine 400 mcg I've religiously taken daily for years, so definitely no shortage of those two in my body (I take high dose selenium because its the single most effective thing I've found for my ME/CFS — see here).

Once I started the B12 oil protocol, I added sodium selenite 250 mcg daily, and reduced my selenomethionine to 200 mcg daily. And also started taking iodine 16 mg daily, and molybdenum 75 mcg daily.


I've been taking all these cofactors daily, but the B12 oil only once every 3 days or so, mainly because if I take it more often, I get this overstimulation effect.

I've not seen any overall or cumulative improvements in my ME/CFS over these 3½ months taking B12 oils; but when I take the B12 oil, I get a significant reduction in brain fog within hours. If I stop taking the B12 oil for more than 3 days, the brain fog starts to get worse again.
 
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Mary

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@Hip - I'm really glad to hear the transdermal B12 oils help your brain fog so much! Brain fog, for unknown reasons, has never been an issue for me. But I have had low B12 levels. I did injections (self-administered) of both methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin, over a period of 2 or 3 years and noticed no difference in energy. I then tried sublingual tablets, and again no noticeable benefit. On hair analysis my cobalamin levels were undetectable.

Then I tried liquid methylcobalamin, taken sublingually - 5000 mcg. 2 x a day, and for the first time I could feel it, I had a noticeable increase in energy. Again, I didn't have brain fog to begin with, so that wasn't an issue.

So I'm wondering if perhaps liquid methylcobalamin might help you. It's relatively cheap - $20 a month for two 5000 mcg. doses a day. Here's what I take: https://smile.amazon.com/Sublingual...2&sr=8-2&keywords=why+not+natural+b-12+liquid
Although it does not have adenosylcobalamin, though I don't seem to need that. I did take an adenosylcobalamin supplement at one time and it didn't appear to make any difference, though of course that might have been the form it was in.

I do have to take potassium (gluconate) daily. This started when I added in methylfolate in 2010, which caused my potassium levels to tank.
 

Hip

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So I'm wondering if perhaps liquid methylcobalamin might help you. It's relatively cheap - $20 a month for two 5000 mcg. doses a day. Here's what I take: https://smile.amazon.com/Sublingual...2&sr=8-2&keywords=why+not+natural+b-12+liquid
Looks interesting, thanks for the link. Certainly it's pretty inexpensive.

The nearest thing I've tried to that is pure methylcobalamin powder, which I obtained in bulk quantities from @Freddd many years ago, and I still have some left. I use around 20 mg (20,000 mcg) of that powder sublingually.

Actually, I say sublingually, but what I in fact do is massage the methylcobalamin powder with my forefinger into all the mucous membranes areas in my mouth (gums, cheeks, roof of the mouth, under the tongue), because all these mucous areas are useful for absorbing B12. I imagine the cheeks and upper gums work quite well, as there is less saliva there to wash away the B12; whereas under the tongue there is lots of saliva.

But even with 20 mg of my methylcobalamin powder applied sublingually and to the oral mucous membranes, I don't get the cognitive clarity I get with the B12 oils.


What does come quite close to the cognitive effect of the B12 oils I found is methylcobalamin plus adenosylcobalamin powder taken as a suppository. One study found that rectal mucous membranes absorption of B12 is 2%. However this is not really a convenient way to take B12 on a daily basis.


It's interesting though that the liquid B12 product you linked to says it contains some alcohol, to aid absorption. Maybe a bit of alcohol is the secret to slightly better sublingual B12 absorption.
 
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Mary

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It's interesting though that the liquid B12 product you linked to says it contains some alcohol, to aid absorption. Maybe a bit of alcohol is the secret to better sublingual B12 absorption.
Unfortunately, they have reformulated it so that it no longer has alcohol :grumpy: It still works but I think it was more effective when it contained alcohol. Though I guess I could always add some? ;)

Although the first liquid methylcobalamin I tried, which noticeably helped, did not have alcohol: https://www.amazon.com/Bluebonnet-L...r=8-4&keywords=bluebonnet+b12+methylcobalamin

I think I just absorbed the liquid better than tablets which took so long to dissolve. And in hindsight, I think I would have had to do B12 shots daily to get results, I needed so much, but I was doing them 3 x a week.
 

Hip

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I think I just absorbed the liquid better than tablets which took so long to dissolve.
Yes, I think sublingual B12 tablets will only provide very small amounts of B12. Another issue is that some sublingual B12 tablets contain citric acid, which rapidly erodes tooth enamel and leads to sensitive teeth; I've seen stories of some ME/CFS patients who have damaged their teeth because of the citric acid in B12 tablets.


What I realize now is that until you have tried B12 injections (or Greg's oils if you prefer) with high doses of the active methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin forms of B12, you likely have not properly tried out the B12 protocol for ME/CFS.
 

cph13

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I started the B12 oil at the beginning of Nov 2018, and started the cofactors around 10 days before that.

Although vitamin B2 25 mg (as part of a B complex) and high dose selenomethionine 400 mcg I've religiously taken daily for years, so definitely no shortage of those two in my body (I take high dose selenium because its the single most effective thing I've found for my ME/CFS — see here).

Once I started the B12 oil protocol, I added sodium selenite 250 mcg daily, and reduced my selenomethionine to 200 mcg daily. And also started taking iodine 16 mg daily, and molybdenum 75 mcg daily.


I've been taking all these cofactors daily, but the B12 oil only once every 3 days or so, mainly because if I take it more often, I get this overstimulation effect.

I've not seen any overall or cumulative improvements in my ME/CFS over these 3½ months taking B12 oils; but when I take the B12 oil, I get a significant reduction in brain fog within hours. If I stop taking the B12 oil for more than 3 days, the brain fog starts to get worse again.
Hi Hip,Thank you for your response. Did you ever do Freddd's or Yasko's SMP? Wondering if you had you'd compare which worked better. Be well, Hip.
 

Hip

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Did you ever do Freddd's or Yasko's SMP? Wondering if you had you'd compare which worked better.
I tried the Rich Van Konynenburg simplified methylation protocol, but noticed no benefits for my ME/CFS symptoms (although I find folinic acid 200 mcg daily helps reduce my depression symptoms, so I always take that).

But the methylation protocol uses sublingual hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin, so you are only getting low doses of B12, compared to the high doses of B12 obtained from injections or B12 oils.
 

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@Hip There was a guy on these forums who need lots of b12 oil to feel better and then when he had his amalgams removed he didn't need any more b12. Apparently b12 helps with mercury problems.

I tried b12 oils for a while, along with a methylation protocol but didn't seem to notice much from the b12 unfortunately.
 
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Hip, did you have lab tests done before and what did they say?

My lab tests never indicated a B12 deficiency but I wonder if people like me could still possibly benefit from high B12 doses. What would be your take on this?
 
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And another question: You say you feel a noticeable kick after around 2h. Did that happen with the very first dose or how many applications did you need?
 

gbells

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How long does $50 15 ml of that dermal B12 oil last? About two weeks?

Any vaped B12 will reach high blood levels.

People that want the lowest cost B12 should look into HotVapes B12 ecig juice. It is a cyanocobalamin form so not the greatest for bioavailability. https://hotvapes.com/products/vitamin-b12?variant=1579982225433

My favorite B12 ecig is from Breathe. It is methylcobalamine so very bioavailable.
http://breatheb12.com
They often have coupons and sales on their email list.
It costs roughly about $15 per month.

I mainly use B12 to treat times of high nerve repair.
 

Hip

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Hip, did you have lab tests done before and what did they say?

My lab tests never indicated a B12 deficiency but I wonder if people like me could still possibly benefit from high B12 doses. What would be your take on this?
No lab tests done, but I am probably not B12 deficient, as for years I have been taking sublingual methylcobalamin on a regular basis, along with regular folinic acid. That I found helped keep depression away.

However, sublingual B12 only provides a relatively low dose. It was not until I tried the very high doses of methylcobalamin plus adenosylcobalamin from the B12 transdermal oil that I obtained significant benefits for my ME/CFS brain fog.

So for me, the take-home message is that you have not properly tried B12 until you have tried either injections or Greg's transdermal oils of the active forms of B12. The active forms are methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.


Like most vitamins and minerals, high doses of B12 — beyond what is required to prevent deficiency — can have physiological effects that you do not get with normal doses. So I don't think the benefits of high dose B12 are related to any B12 deficiency. You can still gain benefit from these very high doses even if you are not deficient.



A list suppliers selling methylcobalamin injections can be found here. In terms of price, if we take one example, the 3 x 0.5 mg B12 methylcobalamin injections sold by BuyPharma for around $12, you can see that the cost of one 0.5 mg injection is about $4.

Whereas with the B12 oils, first of all you get a high dose of 2.5 mg of B12 methylcobalamin plus adenosylcobalamin (and since 80% is absorbed, that is the equivalent of a 2 mg B12 injection). Secondly you get up to about 60 x 2 mg doses for $50, so one 2 mg B12 dose costs around $1.

Thus the B12 oils work out considerably cheaper than injections.
 
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Hip

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And another question: You say you feel a noticeable kick after around 2h. Did that happen with the very first dose or how many applications did you need?
It probably did happen on the very first dose, but I don't actually remember: that's because it was only after I'd taken a dozen or so doses of the B12 oil over a period of about a month or two that I began to see a pattern emerging.

I began to notice that each dose of B12 oil would significantly improve brain fog around 2 hours after transdermal application, and that improved mental clarity would then last for around 3 days, before starting to fade. Sometimes it takes a while before you notice the pattern of improvement from a drug or supplement.
 
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Hip

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Yeah it was the Adenosyl/Methyl B12 oil, colored blood red. Do you have amalgams or any other suspected mercury toxicity?
With your B12 oil, did you also take the essential cofactors mentioned above that Greg told me are very important in order to get the B12 to work?

He says the vitamin B2 cofactor is particularly important, but so are the three minerals molybdenum, iodine and selenium.


Greg said that without B2 and without these three minerals, you can get a functional deficiency of B2, which is where your body's B2 levels are normal, but not enough B2 is transformed into the two active vitamin B2 forms called FMN and FAD, because of a shortage of these three minerals which are necessary to convert B2 into its two active forms.

Greg considers functional deficiency of B2 a key issue in ME/CFS and autism. In a email, Greg told me this:
Functional B2, by which I mean vitamin B2 that has been activated and converted to FMN and FAD has a role to play in around 100 enzymes in the body. It is essential for activation of vitamin B6 for instance, but more importantly to this argument it is essential for the metabolism of fats and sugars.

On top of this it has an essential role to play within Krebs cycle and also within Complex I and Complex II in the electron transport chain. So if you don't get B2 right basically you lose energy because you firstly can't effectively metabolize fats and sugars and the energy that you get from other sources is also compromised. As a result you get lack of energy and fatigue.

BUT, that is not the most important role for FMN and FAD; the most important role from the CFS, ASD and dementia point of view is the cycling of vitamin B12 and in the conversion of inactive analogues such as cyanocobalamin and hydroxocobalamin to the active forms adenosyl and methyl cobalamin.
 

sb4

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@Hip I was doing the B2 + other b vits, moly, but not iodine/selenium. I still have some B12 oil left so maybe I will try some in the future but not now.