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Cyanocobalamin: Wikis


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CAS number 68-19-9
PubChem 16212801
EC number 200-680-0
Molecular formula C63H88CoN14O14P
Molar mass 1355.38 g/mol
Appearance Dark red solid
Melting point

> 300 °C

Boiling point

> 300 °C

Solubility in water Soluble
MSDS External MSDS from Fisher Scientific
EU classification Not available
S-phrases S24/25
NFPA 704
NFPA 704.svg
Flash point N/A
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Cyanocobalamin is an especially common vitamer of the vitamin B12 family. It is the most famous vitamer of the family, because it is chemically the most air-stable, and it is the easiest to crystallize and therefore easiest to purify after it is produced by bacterial fermentation. The cyanide is added to the molecule by activated charcoal columns in purification. Thus, the use of this form of B12 is the most wide-spread.[1]

This fact has caused some people (usually from reading labels on packages and vitamin supplements, in which vitamin B12 is almost always listed last, since ingredients by law are listed in order of weight percentage), to infer that the correct chemical name of vitamin B12 actually is cyanocobalamin. In fact, vitamin B12 is the name for a whole class of chemicals with B12 activity, and cyanocobalamin is only one of these. Cyanocobalamin usually does not even occur in nature, and is not one of the forms of the vitamin which is directly used in the human body (or that of any other animal). However, animals and humans can convert it to active (cofactor) forms of the vitamin, such as methylcobalamin.[1]


  1. ^ a b Victor Herbert (1988). "Vitamin B-12: plant sources, requirements, and assay". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 48 (3 Suppl): 852–8. PMID 3046314.  

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