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Posts Tagged ‘b12 and neurological impairment’

Autism, B12 and Your Child

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Autism, B12 and Your Child.

A correlation between malabsorption of vitamin B12 and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been confirmed by numerous clinical studies; varying forms of B12 have been tested as possible anecdotes for some of the symptoms of ASD, if not as a 100% cure for the condition. However, the use of vitamin B12 as a treatment for autism is slowly emerging as a superior option.

According to DAN physician Dr. Jaquelyn McCandless, B12 is 80-90% effective in treating children with autism spectrum disorder.

How Can B12 Help My Child?

Visual Acuity

In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found a high incidence of partially reversible optic neuropathy in autistic children who were “picky eaters.”  When given vitamin B12, a nutrient which was missing in their diets, a marked improvement in visual functioning was observed.

Brain Development

Vitamin B12 aids in myelination, the production of a protective layer around the brain known as the myelin sheath. Vitamin B12 also influences production of neurotransmitters which carry messages between the nervous system and the rest of our body.

Are There Side Effects?

One of the dilemmas in obtaining proper feedback regarding B12 as a treatment for children with autism has been the accompanying side effects; though short-lived, many parents are hesitant to wait out the effects while the body adjusts to the new medication.  Side effects can include hyperactivity, disturbance of sleep schedule and mouthing of non-food items.

Parents are advised to allow 5 weeks for B12 therapy to take effect.  It is important to continue to observe your child’s behavior during these initial 5 weeks and not making any changes to their diet.


National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubMed)

B12 Vitamin’s Chemical Functions

Friday, June 5th, 2009

The B12 vitamin has an extremely intricate relationship with the body’s chemical balances and thus its healthy function. There are a number of ways in which it protects and supports a variety of chemical interactions necessary for a normal quality of living and even survival. This short guide will introduce you to the basics of B12 chemical functions.


1) Vitamin B12 Regenerates Folic Acid

Without B12, folic acid (B9) becomes trapped in the body in a metabolically useless form. Folic acid is a necessary component in cell division and formation of new cells.


2) Healthy Red Blood Cells Depend on Vitamin B12 Driven Synthesis of DNA. Without usable B12 in the system, the DNA synthesis begins to shut down, resulting in pernicious/megaloblastic anemia. Symptoms of this illness include fatigue, Low energy levels, nausea and diarrhea, decreased appetite, weakening of the muscles, headaches, tingling sensations and a sore tongue.


3) Vitamin B12 Supports Synthesis of the Amino Acid Methionine and Amino Acid “SAM-e”

Methionine is one of the two sulfur based compounds involved in metabolic functions. It is a crucial building block of proteins necessary for a state of a healthy body. SAM-e is involved in over 100 enzymatic reactions required for normal metabolic activity.


5) Vitamin B12 Promotes Activity of Hormones and Neurotransmitters Affecting Your Mood

The hormones include dopamine, serotonin and melatonin. These particular neurotransmitters are necessary for a healthy balanced mood, emotional state and even the sleeping cycle. An imbalance in either the levels or the function of any of these can result in a depression which is likely to need medicating.

6) Vitamin B12 Helps Reduce Dangerous Levels of Homocysteine Homocysteine is a toxic amino acid (protein) associated with a number of different negative side effects in the body. High homocysteine levels can cause any of the following symptoms: tinnitus, anxiety, increased heart beat, worsening symptoms of thyroid disorders, depression and body toxicity. Individuals with high homocysteine levels are at risk for cardiovascular problems.

7) Vitamin B12 Benefits Help Prevent Irreversible Neurological Impairment Peripheral and central nervous system deterioration can occur due to a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to demyelination of the nerve and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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