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Vitamin B12 (left), also called cobalamin, is especially important for maintaining healthy nerve cells. The new toothpase could be an alternative for people who are unable to absorb the vitamin from food. (Images courtesy of stanistlaff/shutterstock and VEBU)
May 11, 2012 | News Europe

German company introduces first toothpaste with vitamin B12

by Dental Tribune International

BERLIN/SALZHEMMENDORF, Germany: A German natural cosmetics manufacturer has launched a toothpaste on the market that could benefit people unable to absorb vitamin B12 from food owing to a missing enzyme in their stomachs. According to the manufacturer, the toothpaste is the first of its kind worldwide.

According to the German Medical Association, five to 11 million Germans suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency, which may go unnoticed for a long time. Often to blame for the deficiency is a missing enzyme, which is necessary for the absorption of the vitamin. Since vitamin B12 is present mainly in animal products, many vegetarians and vegans are also affected by the deficiency. Also at risk are pregnant and lactating women, smokers and alcoholics, people suffering from diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract, such as Crohn’s disease, and the elderly.

The German Nutrition Society recommends a daily intake of 3 µg of vitamin B12. Even though the amount needed is significantly lower than that of other vitamins, a long-term deficiency can affect health negatively. “A lack of vitamin B12 is reflected in fatigue, tiredness or lack of concentration and can eventually lead to neurological damage or increase the risk for heart and circulatory diseases,” said Claus Leitzmann, Emeritus Professor of Nutrition at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany.

SANTE dental med toothpaste vitamin B12, developed by the German Vegetarian Union (VEBU) and the natural cosmetics manufacturer LOGOCOS, allows the absorption of the vitamin through the oral mucosa. Other vitamin B12 supplements (such as pills and drops) that work on the same principle of absorption have already been introduced to the market.

With this means of absorption, only a low dose of the vitamin enters the body. As passive diffusion via the oral mucosa—as with passive diffusion via the intestinal mucosa—only allows the intake of about one per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12, the vitamin concentration in the toothpaste had to be determined accordingly. SANTE dental med toothpaste vitamin B12 is fortified with 100 µg/g vitamin B12. An overdose of vitamin B12 is not possible according to the manufacturer, since the vitamin is water-soluble and excess is excreted through the urine.

A study conducted by the Institute for Alternative and Sustainable Food in Giessen, and supported by VEBU, demonstrated that the use of the toothpaste can lead to an increase in vitamin B12. Over a period of five weeks, one of the two study groups used the vitamin B12 toothpaste, while the other used a placebo product.

The blood analysis showed that in the group of participants who had used the toothpaste, both the amount of holotranscobalamin (from 26.1 to 50.0 pmol/L) and vitamin B12 serum (from 213 to 269 pg/mL) had increased significantly. Furthermore, the homocysteine level had decreased slightly but not significantly (from 7.4 to 7.2 µmol/L). A lower homocysteine level is beneficial to health.

The placebo group showed a slight, insignificant increase in holotranscobalamin (30.5 to 33.85 pmol/L) and a significant decrease in vitamin B12 serum (from 267 to 204 pg/mL). The homocysteine level increased in the placebo group (from 7.5 to 7.6 µmol/L), but not significantly.

SANTE dental med toothpaste vitamin B12 is vegan, GMO-free and not tested on animals. It contains a complex of active ingredients effective against tooth decay, gum disease and plaque formation. It contains 1,200 ppm fluoride. Vitamin B12 is not sensitive to heat nor light, and thus remains preserved in toothpaste for a long period.

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