Vitamin B12 May Help Treat Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Exciting research is demonstrating that a form of Vitamin B12 can relieve or even eliminate pain when used as a treatment for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Woman holding her hands with a doctor to talk about her pain symptoms

New exciting research is showing that the symptoms associated with many neurological disorders can be greatly reduced with therapeutic levels of a special form of a simple vitamin, Vitamin B12.

Those who suffer with inflamed nerve cells in neurological disorders such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, and neuropathy know the burning, the numbness, and the pain that comes with these conditions. Fortunately, exciting research is showing that the symptoms associated with many neurological disorders can be greatly reduced with therapeutic levels of a special form of a simple vitamin, Vitamin B12. Multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia all involve deterioration or inflammation of nervous tissue.[1,2,3] Fortunately, there is a variant of vitamin B12 that can regenerate nerves and brain cells, to repair damage and reduce symptoms. Treatment for fibromyalgia and other neurological disorders can include high doses of methylcobalamin (or methyl B12) which can enhance the thickness of axons, improve current through neuron cells, and increase the range of nerve tissue.[4] It also increases the production of certain proteins in the cells that insulate neurons, which leads to a significant restoration after 3 to 6 months.[5,6]

Multiple Sclerosis

MS occurs when the body destroys the myelin insulation that surrounds the axons of many neuron cells. Over time, this causes scarring to build around the nerve and to develop into lesions, which impair nerve communication, cause pain, and affect vision and hearing.

Research indicates that patients with progressive MS who receive 60 mg per day of methylcobalamin for 6 months experience stronger neuron signaling in the visual and auditory parts of the brain.[7,8] This is the result of the regeneration of myelin, which allows chemical signals to travel faster and more efficiently through brain cells.

Treatment For Fibromyalgia And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Methylcobalamin has been shown to reduce chronic pain in fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Although the causes of both conditions are uncertain, the restoration of neuron cells is known to improve their symptoms. In one study, patients with fibromyalgia who received 1.5 mg per day of the vitamin experience significantly less pain.[9] This is potentially the result of the repair of small nerve fibers close to the skin.[3] Similarly, nerve regeneration is shown to relieve pain in rheumatoid arthritis, likely due to the stronger nerve fibers being more resistant to irritation from inflamed joints.[7]

Neurological Conditions That Can Benefit From Methylcobalamin Treatment

Additional studies are showing some of the same symptom relief benefits of methylcobalamin in the following neurological condition:

  • Neuropathy
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Impaired visual function
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Glutamate toxicity
  • Sleep wake rhythm disorders [10]

How To Use Methylcobalamin As Treatment For Fibromyalgia, MS, And Rheumatoid Arthritis

Anyone with the listed neurological conditions can benefit from methylcobalamin. Even people who acquire B12 in their diets and from supplements are likely to be deficient in methylcobalamin. Vitamin supplements and enriched foods contain vitamin B12 in the form of cyanocobalamin, which is not nearly as biologically active.[10] In comparison, methylcobalamin is used more efficiently and is retained in the body at levels 66% higher than cyanocobalamin.[11] Most importantly, methylcobalamin is the only neurologically active form of B12.[9]

When choosing a supplement, look for either methylcobalamin or methyl B12. Studies have found that oral, intravenous, and intramuscular administration provide the same results.[11]

  • Treatment for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, studies noted clinical benefits using between 1.5 and 6 mg per day.[11] Capsules typically contain between 1 and 5 mg and must be taken at least twice per day to deliver benefits for fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Some methyl B12 supplements are designed to be taken sublingually, that is dissolved under the tongue. These can have the added benefit of absorbing directly into the bloodstream.
  • For multiple sclerosis, studies suggest 60 mg per day. Up to 12 capsules per day may be necessary.

These are all considered to be very high doses and cannot be acquired from normal B12 supplements of cyanocobalamin. As a water-soluble vitamin, methylcobalamin is excreted in urine and cannot accumulate in the body beyond what is naturally stored in the liver, creating little chance that high doses will cause negative side effects.[12]

If you have tried using methyl B12 for a neurological condition, share your experience in the comments section below.

Originally published  in 2014, this post has been updated.

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  • For 7
    years I was experiencing off and on, hands and feet tingling, burning, pain, difficulty walking, extreme fatigue and depression. Countless visits to the ER and Dr. Office,checking for everything but B12. It then started where I had extreme difficulty getting dressed, had trouble feeding myself, could not write or hold a pen. Bending my neck sent electric shocks thru my body. Went to the hospital for MS testing. MRI, spinal tap,Lyme,brain scan. After more testing, one Dr. checked my B12 level, it was 80. I spent 10 days in the u and 10 days in rehab. They were not sure if I would recover. Left untreated, B12 deficiency can cause permanent brain damage. I was lucky, everything reversed. Maybe if B12 methylcobalamin supplements were given early on, we might be able to prevent MS and other brain and nerve related diseases.
    If that one Dr. didn’t check my B12 level,I would have been diagnosed with MS, because the symptoms are the same.
    B12 is vital for our health. It helps make DNA & RNA, your red blood cells.
    Helps with Depression,Dementia,Sleep Disorders.
    Protects &a rebuilds the Myelin sheath covering your nerve fibers.
    Slows brain shrinkage up to 80%.
    Lowers Homocysteine levels associated with heart disease.
    If low levels are left unchecked, brain damage will occur and can become permanent.
    Helps with age related macular degeneration.
    By supplementing with sublingual Methylcobalmin B12 around 40 or 50 years of age, we could help prevent problems before they start.
    Everyone should supplement and maintain blood levels of B12 in the range from 600 to 2000 pg/ml in order to avoid and, if this is the case, help recover from the wide range of problems that result from B12 deficiency or insufficiency. Health care practitioners: this is the first thing you should check for every patient that comes in, independently of their age or condition

    Methylcobalamin: This is the neurologically active form of B12. It is technically a `coenzyme` of vitamin B12 and it is almost never prescribed by doctors despite being effective, readily available and inexpensive. It is also available in an injectable form. Degenerative neurological conditions are where methylcobalamin shows its greatest benefits over other cobalamin preparations. Brilliant news for MS’ers! Not only has Methylcobalamin been shown to work in neurologic diseases, it also helps with the elimination of toxic substances in
    the body.


    I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis approximately 10 years ago. I woke up one morning and was in so much pain I took half hour to get out of bed. I couldn’t sit and if I fell onto a chair I couldn’t get myself up again. I have been on all the medications available as well as having the needle jabs in my knees and shoulders. Thank God for leading me to BEST HEALTH HERBAL CENTRE,.Now am RA free,…

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