Vitamins are fuel for normal body functions that the body cannot synthesize in adequate amounts. In many cases vitamins act as cofactors to aid enzymes in facilitating metabolism. In this case the vitamins are called coenzyme vitamins.
In order to create supplements with larger amounts of vitamins, manufacturers use synthetic vitamins that are similar to, but not the same as, the coenzyme forms required in the body. In this case the body needs to chemically “process” the synthetic forms in order to make them usable. This process can be complex and utilizes valuable body resources such as coenzyme vitamins, minerals, and ATP (energy).
Coenzyme vitamins (and direct precursors of coenzyme vitamins) are found in foods in relatively small but significant amounts. Some examples of coenzyme vitamins include Vitamin B1 in the form of thiamin diphosphate (or cocarboxylase) and Vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal 5’-phosphate.
While coenzyme vitamins usually cost significantly more than the synthesized vitamins (up to 50 times more), they remain affordable because the body only requires them in very small amounts. The body only needs small amounts because there are no in vivo losses related to conversion processes. We include coenzyme vitamins in precise quantities needed by the body.
Currently available coenzyme vitamins include:
- Vitamin B1 in the form of thiamin diphosphate (or cocarboxylase)
- Vitamin B2 in the form of riboflavin 5’-phosphate sometimes called flavinmononucleotide (FMN)
- Vitamin B3 in the forms of forms of niacinamide (partial coenzyme), nicotinamide diphosphate (NAD), and nicotinamide diphosphate hydrate (NADH)
- Vitamin B5 in the form of panthetine
- Vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal 5’-phosphate
- Folate in the forms of 5-Methyltetrahyrofolate (5-MTHF) and folinic acid (5-formyl tetrahydrofolate)
- Vitamin B12 in the forms of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.