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Posts Tagged ‘homocysteine’

Vitamin B12 for Baby Planning, Preventing Birth Defects

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients you can take if you’re planning a baby. In countless studies, vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with fertility-related problems, along with spontaneous abortion and miscarriage during pregnancy. Even if your vitamin B12 levels are tested as normal, you may require an elevated amount to provide your unborn child with optimum health benefits and insure a normal delivery.

Vitamin B12 is Crucial for Baby Planning and Preventing Birth Defects

Neural tube defects

In a study led by the National Institutes of Health it was discovered that women who have abnormally low levels of serum vitamin B12 (cobalamin) before even planning a baby are more likely than others to deliver a baby with neural tube birth defects.

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

One such disorder, spina bifida, is five times more likely to occur when vitamin B12 deficiency is evident before conception.

Miscarriages

Vitamin B12 helps your body control levels of homocysteine, a hormone linked with increased risk for preeclampsia and miscarriage, in addition to heart attack and stroke.

In a study that examined vitamin B12 deficiency and its effect on fertility in women of child-bearing age, scientists found that vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency together can lead to miscarriages caused by thrombophilia (blood clotting).

Also, it was confirmed that the majority of female test subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency suffered multiple miscarriages, spontaneous abortions, and difficulty conceiving.

When vitamin B12 supplements were administered, however, researchers noted a decrease in homocysteine that led to more positive results in childbearing.

Furthermore, doctors warn that taking too much folic acid during your pregnancy may hide symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it harder to detect and treat.

Conclusion

Before planning a baby, and additionally during your pregnancy, submit a blood test for vitamin B12 deficiency. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 blood tests are not among the standard screenings given to pregnant women, so you may have to make a special request.

Also, be on the lookout for telltale symptoms, such as crushing fatigue, long-lasting depression, brain fog, slow thinking, and constant “pins and needles” in your hands and feet.

If you’re pregnant, then you should take all the vitamins that your doctor prescribes, including folic acid to prevent birth defects. In addition to that, it’s crucial to get plenty of vitamin B12, as a deficiency in B12 levels will not be apparent even in a blood test, due to the effects of folic acid.

There’s no upper limit for vitamin B12- all amounts are perfectly safe- but the standard dose is 1,000mic, to be taken daily, weekly, or bi-weekly, or as recommended by your physician.

Please tell us…

If you had vitamin B12 deficiency during your pregnancy, were you aware of it at the time?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part II: Taking Care of Baby

Vitamin B12- Good for your Libido!

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Image courtesy of -Marcus-/freedigitalphotos

B12 Shots: Getting your Medical Insurance to Pay

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 shots are crucial if you’re diagnosed with extremely low levels of vitamin B12, but they can be expensive. Some medical insurance plans cover the costs of vitamin B12 injections, but only if you qualify. Even if you’re approved, you may not be getting the right dosage to relieve some of the ailments that come with even mild vitamin B12 deficiency.

B12 Shots: Getting your Medical Insurance to Pay

Intramuscular vitamin B12 shots require the services of a licensed nurse, and to get your fill, your best bet is to apply for coverage from your medical insurance plan.

Unfortunately, healthcare plans such as Cigna, Aetna, and Blue Cross, in addition to Medicare, can make it difficult for you to get enough B12. Their mission is to prevent death from pernicious anemia, and they do that reasonably well…

Still, there are a host of health problems that don’t go away with minimum vitamin B12 shots; constant fatigue, brain fog, and depression can continue if you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 from your healthcare provider.

Aetna

Let’s consider Aetna:

Aetna will pay for vitamin B12 injections if you suffer from:

  • Diagnosed pernicious anemia, or other types of anemia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders linked with lack of intrinsic factor, vitamin B12 malabsorption or gastrointestinal surgeries
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage) from alcoholism, pernicious anemia, or posterolateral sclerosis
  • Dementia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Elevated homocysteine levels caused by homocysteinuria

Also, if you have vitamin B12 deficiency caused by medications such as metformin for diabetes, then you may be able to get your insurance to pay for vitamin B12 shots.

But no mention is made of vitamin B12 supplements in relation to symptoms of fatigue, muscle pain, anxiety, depression, or dizziness that occur when vitamin B12 levels are even marginally low, in people who are not diagnosed with anemia.

Also, children with autism are not approved for vitamin B12 injection compensation, even though many parents have noticed extreme health benefits (cognition, energy, and mood) with routine B12 shots.

So unless you’re diagnosed with pernicious anemia, peripheral neuropathy, or dementia that’s not related to old age, you will have difficulty getting your insurance to pay for vitamin B12 supplements. If your employer insurance plan covers naturopathic medicine, then you may be more successful.

Medicare

If you’re a senior citizen, then your risk for vitamin B12 deficiency is much higher. Still, Medicare Part D follows the same criteria for vitamin B12 shots as the Aetna plan.

Unless you can present proof that you suffer from one of the approved medical conditions as mentioned above, you may not get coverage for vitamin B12, even if you are suffering from extreme fatigue, sluggish thinking, mood problems, or other ailments that can happen even if blood tests indicate normal levels of vitamin B12.

Conclusion

If you’re turned down for Medicare or other healthcare compensation for vitamin B12 supplements, then fear not; there are other options.

While vitamin B12 shots can be expensive, costing upwards of $25 a pop, there are alternative methods of vitamin B12 supplementation that are available online and over the counter (OTC). Many are cheaper, gentler, and more convenient than vitamin B12 shots, and just as likely to get absorbed into your bloodstream.

Moreover, if you receive vitamin B12 shots through your provider, but you want more to “top up” vitamin B12 levels between office visits, then OTC vitamin B12 is a great option to get the amount you need, when you need it, at a fraction of the price of prescription B12.

Please tell us…

Does your healthcare provider cover vitamin B12 shots? If so, are you getting enough vitamin B12?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Injection Pain- 7 Helpful Tips

Vitamin B12 Shots- Side Effects

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- 12 Tips and Warnings

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Vitamin B12- Good for your Libido!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Does loss of libido get you down?  Is your sex drive too low? You may need to increase your uptake of vitamin B12, which promotes a healthy libido and provide numerous other benefits that help to sustain your sex organs.  Here are some ways that vitamin B12 and other essential B vitamins can boost your libido and increase energy!

Vitamin B12- Good for your Libido!

Boost your Metabolism with Vitamin B12

B vitamins help to regulate your sex organs; vitamin B12 and other essential B-complex vitamins impact the number of sex hormones released by the body and also promote good fertilization for couples wishing to plan a family.

Each specific B vitamin offers your body something different in regard to your overall health as well as your sex health.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency is directly linked with a decrease in sex drive, depression, and difficulty conceiving a baby, so it makes sense to increase vitamin B12 and other B vitamins when your libido is sagging.

Vitamin B12 protects and maintains the nervous system, and enhances intercellular communication. All this adds up to a quick and direct response to sexual stimuli. In contrast, people with low vitamin B12 levels have slow, sluggish reflexes.

Vitamin B12 also aids in fertility, as we have seen many males suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency who complain of impotence.

Vitamin B12 aids digestion and absorption of food, which in turn results in more energy and a healthy libido.

Hence, lack of libido and a diminished sex life could be the consequence of a depleted level of vitamin B12.

Lethargy and fatigue are common symptoms of a Vitamin B12 deficiency.  This in turn leads to “sex deprivation” — because the body needs more sleep and rest, not sex.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 is important to keep the nerves finely tuned ensuring optimal transmission of signals for appropriate responses. It enhances circulation, which allows blood to flow not only to your heart but below the belt as well.

This B vitamin also boosts energy levels and optimizes healthy brain functioning. It also has antioxidant affects, which can protect our bodies from aging.  The younger we feel and look, the more confident and sexy we are.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 assists with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in maintaining a healthy weight. It facilitates the use of oxygen by the tissues of our hair, skin and nails keeping us looking young, vibrant and sexy. How’s that for a libido booster?

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 increases the blood flow to the skin and nerve endings.  This is in itself a form of stimulus.  For women, this can increase the libido exponentially.  Vitamin B3 generates healthy skin and proper circulation, which can actually help to enhance tactile sensations, lending more excitement to intimate touch.  Additionally, the synthesis of sex hormones is affected by Vitamin B3, and can help to lower bad cholesterol.

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 affects the production of the adrenal hormones. Stress reduction is aided by Vitamin B5, and we can all agree that less stress can help put you in the right mood.  Without proper adrenal function, your stamina may be lowered; libido may be reduced, which may make one feel more stressed.  Furthermore, you sweat more profusely with very little physical activity, which can be a sexual turn off for many.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is an effective libido enhancer, particularly for women. It can aid in the reduction of symptoms of PMS. It also acts as a mild diuretic. Feeling bloated, or moody, can really ruin the atmosphere for intimacy, so make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B6!

Vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 help to reduce cholesterol by protecting the heart muscle from a chemical called homocysteine, which leads to heavy cholesterol deposits.

A healthy heart reduces your chances for sex problems such as low libido and erectile dysfunction, so include lots of libido-healthy B vitamins in your daily diet!

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 and Fertility

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!

Image courtesy of Ambro/freedigitalphotos

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Genetic Mutation?

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

 

 

About half the population has a gene mutation making them prone to genetic vitamin B12 deficiency, according to researchers, which would explain the growing epidemic of pernicious anemia from untreated vitamin B12 deficiency. About 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have dangerously low levels of vitamin B12, and many don’t even realize it until the debilitating symptoms begin to set in. Here are the facts on genetic vitamin B12 deficiency.

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Genetic Mutation?

The MTHFR gene and B12 Deficiency

Everybody has two MTHFR genes, one from each parent. These genes are necessary for efficiently converting vitamin B12 to a usable form, and in effect also maintaining healthy homocysteine levels.

If you have defective MTHFR genes, then you’re not able to convert cobalamin to usable vitamin B12 as effectively as somebody without the gene defect.

However, nearly 50% of all people have a defected MTHFR gene from one parent, and 10% have mutated MTHFR genes from both parents, making them more likely to suffer genetic vitamin B12 deficiency, and also elevated levels of homocysteine, which has been linked to hardening of the arteries and increased risk for heart attack.

Causes for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 absorption is a complicated process, and there are many things that can go wrong. Certain health conditions, medications, invasive surgeries, dietary restrictions, and yes- genetics- can impede your ability to digest vitamin B12 properly from food sources and vitamin supplements.

Common causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Vegan and vegetarian dieting
  • Family history for autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and fibromyalgia
  • Family history for pernicious anemia
  • MTHFR gene mutations
  • Gastrointestinal infections or illnesses, such as leaky gut, Crohn’s, celiac, and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Bariatric surgeries or ilium removal for Crohn’s treatment
  • Medications such as metformin for diabetes and PPIs for GERD
  • Old age
  • Alcoholism

Find out if you have genetic B12 Deficiency

There are several ways of finding out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, including plasma vitamin B12 level screening, complete blood count (CBC) and homocysteine blood screening for Hyperhomocysteinemia.

As for testing for the MTHFR gene mutation, there are no official guidelines as to who should be tested. So unless you request a test for genetic vitamin B12 deficiency from a doctor who is able to comply, then your best bet is to stay on top of vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels, and supplement daily with vitamin B12, folate and vitamin B6.

Treating vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you’re tested with genetic vitamin B12 deficiency caused by a gene mutation, or any form of vitamin B12 deficiency that doesn’t stem from diet, then it’s absolutely essential to supplement with vitamin B12 in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and other severe malnutrition. Diet alone will not provide you the amount of vitamin B12 needed in order to prevent pernicious anemia.

Please tell us…

Would you consider getting tested for genetic vitamin B12 deficiency? Do one or both parents also have vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Disease- Scientists find New Cause

Image courtesy of dream designs/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12, for Hearing and Heart Health

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

 

 

Have you checked your Vitamin B12 levels lately? When vitamin B12 goes down, homocysteine levels go up, increasing your risk for heart attack, stroke, and hearing loss problems such as tinnitus.

Vitamin B12, for Hearing and Heart Health

Countless scientific studies have shown a high correlation between vitamin B12 deficiency and tinnitus ear ringing.

But what many patients of vitamin B12 deficiency don’t realize- because their doctors haven’t warned them- is that in addition to hearing problems, their risk for heart disease, and stroke are also higher, due to a common denominator of vitamin B12 deficiency- elevated homocysteine.

What is homocysteine?

Homocysteine is an amino acid that we produce when we digest methionine, an amino acid that occurs naturally in meat and dairy products.

An overabundance can have toxic effects on your system, resulting in homocysteine toxicity, which has been found to increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and tinnitus hearing disorder caused by peripheral neuropathy.

In many studies, scientists noted high correlations between high homocysteine levels and increased risk for hypertension, heart palpitations, heart attack, and stroke.

Similarly, elderly individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus are more likely to have elevated homocysteine than their peers with normal hearing.

Vitamin B12, Homocysteine, and your Heart

Vitamin B12 benefits

To date, the only known way to prevent symptoms of homocysteine toxicity is by controlling your vitamin B12 levels.

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for your nervous system. Found in protein foods such as beef, chicken, and fish, vitamin B12 performs many important biochemical functions:

  • Vitamin B12 maintains red blood cell production, for adequate hemoglobin and oxygen.
  • Vitamin B12 sustains good metabolism, for increased energy.
  • Vitamin B12 enhances peripheral nerve cell communication, for healthy hearing, eyesight, cognitive balance, and muscle control.
  • Vitamin B12, along with folic acid and vitamin B6, helps your body digest homocysteine, keeping amino acids to a safe, normal level, and preventing symptoms that impair your hearing, heart health, and memory.

5 Surprising Foods that Pack Vitamin B12

How much vitamin B12?

Only supplementation of essential B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12 can effectively reduce excess homocysteine and put you back on the right track for hearing and heart health.

Recommended dosage is at least 1,000mg of vitamin B12, 400mcg of folic acid, and 100mg of vitamin B6 as needed.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Warning: If you take Folate, you may have Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Monday, May 27th, 2013

 

 

Taking high doses of vitamin B12 may delay the symptoms of dementia, according to a new study. For pennies a day, elderly individuals experiencing the beginning signs of Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia can sustain brain mass for longer, just by preventing vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

B12 slows dementia

It’s not the first time that studies have proven the cognitive benefits of vitamin B12 supplementation for people with Alzheimer’s disease, but it flies in the face of various drug companies who have been trying for decades to produce similar results, to no avail.

According to the study just released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the best treatment for dementia includes a three-prong regimen of social activity, exercise, and supplementation of three essential B vitamins- vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid.

“It’s the first and only disease-modifying treatment that’s worked,” said A. David Smith, Oxford University professor and senior author of the study on vitamin B12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease. “We have proved the concept that you can modify the disease.”

Prevent Dementia: 12 Natural Vitamins and Herbs

As of yet, there are no other treatments or medications available that comes close to providing the same results as these three inexpensive B vitamins in delaying the progression of brain atrophy in dementia patients.

B12 controls homocysteine

Among the many roles that vitamin B12 plays in maintaining good health, one of the most significant is its ability to control homocysteine, a protein known to contribute to heart attacks and stroke.

For the study, scientists wanted to prove a link between dementia and homocysteine levels.

  • Researchers gathered 156 people over the age of 70 who were experiencing memory loss, and also had high levels of homocysteine.
  • Participants were given one of two treatments for dementia: a supplement containing a mixture of vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folic acid, or a placebo.
  • For the following two years, scientists compared MRI brain scan results, along with blood tests confirming homocysteine levels.
  • Among people who had very high levels of homocysteine, suggesting vitamin B12 deficiency, brain atrophy advanced at a rate of 5.2% in people who took the placebo.
  • Memory loss patients with high homocysteine who were given the vitamin supplements containing vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid saw only a 0.06% decrease in brain atrophy.

Can B12 deficiency Cause Dementia? Some Helpful Facts

Compare those results to people who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency or dementia…

Let the numbers speak for themselves

According to Smith, healthy elderly adults without vitamin B12 deficiency begin to experience brain shrinkage from the age of 60, at the rate of about 0.5%.

  • High homocysteine, vitamin B12 deficiency- 5.2% brain deterioration.
  • High homocysteine, using vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid- 0.6% brain deterioration.
  • Normal homocysteine, normal levels of vitamin B12- 0.5% brain deterioration.

So, with vitamin B12 supplementation, people with high homocysteine levels can slow down the rate of dementia to a rate that is a mere 0.1% higher than individuals of the same age who don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency.

What’s the upshot?

If you have high homocysteine levels, you can reduce your risk of suffering early dementia by taking extra doses of vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, especially if you are already experiencing warning symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, including memory loss, fatigue, depression, disorientation, and numbness and tingling.

While it won’t cure Alzheimer’s disease, taking daily vitamin B12 can significantly delay brain atrophy that occurs to all people over the age of 60.

But it’s important to catch vitamin B12 deficiency early. The longer you wait, the more likely you will begin to suffer irreparable cell death and brain atrophy due to elevated homocysteine.

To test for vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a blood test. He may prescribe large doses of vitamin B12, beginning with 1,000mcg, although it’s perfectly safe to take as much vitamin B12 as you need to relieve symptoms, as there are no FDA upper limits for vitamin B12 supplementation.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Aging begins at 45- Tips on how to Prevent Early Memory Loss

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

Sources:

Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment

Vitamins That Cost Pennies a Day Seen Delaying Dementia

Image courtesy of ohhhbetty/flickr

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

 

 

What do vitamin B12 deficiency, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common?  More than you realize.  For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Part I introduced you to excitotoxins…now in Part II, find out how to keep neurotoxins from disrupting your life.

Born with it: Clumsiness and Two Left Feet from Dyspraxia

What illnesses are linked with excitotoxicity?

Many neurodegenerative illnesses and other conditions are linked with elevated levels of excitotoxins such as homocysteine:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • AIDS dementia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Infections
  • Lyme borreliosis

“Glutamate and aspartate are doubled in viral meningitis, acute multiple sclerosis (MS) and myelopathy compared with control subjects and patients with peripheral facial nerve palsy.”

What causes elevated homocysteine levels?

When your body produces homocysteine, it is immediately broken down by vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate).  Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 keep your homocysteine levels down to a healthy minimum where already healthy homocysteine levels occur.

However, if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia, then you don’t have enough vitamin B12 to break down homocysteine. 

As a result, homocysteine levels spike, permeating your neurons, causing irreparable damage to your nerve cells and increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and memory problems.

“…increased homocysteine levels in the central nervous system characterize patients fulfilling the criteria for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.”

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY IS EXCITOTOXIC, B12 PATCH

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

If you have pernicious anemia, then you may not be able to digest dietary forms of vitamin B12 (food, pills), due to a digestive system disorder.

In order to maintain healthy homocysteine levels (and thus gain the neurological health benefits of B12), you need to insert vitamin B12 directly into your bloodstream through vitamin B12 shots.

For maximum vitamin B12 benefits, experts recommend supplementing with extra over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12, as well.  Many patients experience improved neurological health in as little as a few days following vitamin B12 supplementation.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Please tell us…

  • Do you have one or more of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as described?
  • Do you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and other comorbid illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
  • How likely are you to change your diet and increase your vitamin B12, now that you know about the risk factors involved?
  • Please share your comments!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part I

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Brain Lesions?

Sources:

Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins

Neurotransmitters in cerebrospinal fluid reflect pathological activity-PubMed, NCBI

Increased concentrations of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome- PubMed, NCBI

Cytochemical detection of homocysteine in pernicious anemia and in chronic erythremic myelosis- PubMed, NCBI

Excitotoxins

Images:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part I

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

 

 

What do vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common?  More than you realize.  For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY IS EXCITOTOXIC, B12 PATCH

What are excitotoxins?

Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills defines excitotoxins as amino acids “that react with specialized receptors in the brain in such a way as to lead to destruction of certain types of brain cells.” Because they damage your nerve cells, excitotoxins are also referred to as neurotoxins.

Damaged nerve cells are one of the many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Homocysteine, for example, is an excitotoxin.  Too much homocysteine causes your brain’s nerve cells to malfunction, breaking down the myelin sheathe and the blood-brain barrier (BBB), letting in free radicals, and potentially killing brain cells that can never be replicated.

Elevated homocysteine levels are also one of many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Brain Lesions?

Common excitotoxins

The following amino acids are classified as excitotoxins (neurotoxins):

  • Homocysteine (L-cysteine)
  • Glutamate (found in MSG and hydrolyzed vegetable protein)
  • Aspartate (found in aspartame)
  • Beta amyloid

Symptoms of excitotoxicity

The following symptoms may indicate nerve damage caused by excitotoxins:

  • Chronic headaches (migraines)
  • Painful tingling and numbness in your hands and feet (vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Muscular pain in specific sensitive spots (fibromyalgia)
  • Unexplained constant tiredness, despite sleeping well and not overexerting oneself physically (chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Loss of muscular control (multiple sclerosis)

Coming in Part II, find out which illnesses are linked with excitotoxins, and what you can do to prevent nerve damage…

Please tell us…

  • Do you have one or more of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as described?
  • Do you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and other comorbid illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
  • How likely are you to change your diet and increase your vitamin B12, now that you know about the risk factors involved?
  • Please share your comments!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins

Neurotransmitters in cerebrospinal fluid reflect pathological activity-PubMed, NCBI

Increased concentrations of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome- PubMed, NCBI

Cytochemical detection of homocysteine in pernicious anemia and in chronic erythremic myelosis- PubMed, NCBI

Excitotoxins

Images:

Wikimedia

12 Healthy Heart Habits, Including Vitamin B12 Supplements

Monday, December 26th, 2011

 

 

Keeping your heart healthy requires making many lifestyle changes; most people don’t realize that avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency is just as essential for your heart as eating heart-healthy foods, exercising, and reducing stress.  Below are some pointers for promoting cardiovascular health, including reasons why extra vitamin B12 supplements are beneficial for a healthy heart.

1- Monitor your vitamin B12 levels

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, supports many necessary biochemical functions in your body.  Vitamin B12 helps you produce plenty of red blood cells, helps maintain your nervous system, assists in building DNA, and sustains normal metabolism, cognitive functioning, strength, and energy.

Vitamin B12 is also an essential nutrient for heart health, as it regulates homocysteine levels. In many studies, the hormone homocysteine has been found to increase your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Vitamin B12 helps your body break down homocysteine, thus reducing your risk for heart disease.

The American Heart Association urges people to eat a healthy diet that includes folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 for optimal heart health.

Goal: Get tested! Elderly individuals, people diagnosed with pernicious anemia, patients of gastrointestinal disorders, or anybody who has had gastrointestinal surgery involving the removal of the ileum (gastric bypass) cannot absorb vitamin B12 in the stomach, and must take B12 supplements in order to avoid suffering B12 deficiency.  To find out if you are at risk, request a blood screening for vitamin B12 deficiency from your doctor.

Read more about vitamin B12 and heart disease-

B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate

2- Get moving

All health experts agree that incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, at least 5 days per week, is the single most important lifestyle change you can make for your heart.  Conversely, increasing evidence indicates that living a sedentary lifestyle- watching several hours of television each day, sitting at a desk for long periods without breaks, and shunning exercise- is one of the biggest contributing factors to heart disease.

Goal: Break it down! If you’re daunted by the idea of spending 30 minutes on a treadmill, plan three 10-minute breaks in the day for exercise, instead.  Walk your dog or do a window-shopping run around the mall (without stopping!).  If you work at a desk, set your timer to alert you to get up and stretch at regular intervals.

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

3- Eat more heart-healthy foods

Prevent cardiovascular disease by following a low fat, low cholesterol diet.  Avoid saturated trans-fats, and opt instead for small doses of healthy monounsaturated fats, like olive or canola oils.  If you normally eat red meat, switch instead to lean poultry, which also contains plenty of vitamin B12.  In addition to cutting down on fats, you should also eat more vitamin-enriched foods that are low in salt and refined carbohydrates.

Goal: Spice it up! Train your tongue to like nutritious, low-fat foods that have fewer “empty” calories.  Go for high-fiber vegetables, grains, and legumes, lower-fat meats, cheeses, and spreads, and shake things up with dashes of cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and granulated garlic.  By focusing on the spices, you’ll feel more satisfied, and less likely to miss that fatty mouth-feel of fried foods.

The Best- and Worst- Cooking Oils for Heart Health

4- Mind your weight

Numerous studies conclude that obesity is one of the greatest health risks that affect people today.  Being overweight overburdens your entire body, contributing to illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and other life threatening conditions.

Goal: Size it down! By cutting down the size of your plate, you alternatively cut down your dress size.  Try using smaller plates, include veggies, omit surgery drinks, eat slower, and resist the urge to go for seconds.

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

5- Don’t ignore the elephant in the living room

If you think you might be suffering some of the symptoms of heart disease, such as breathlessness, heart palpitations, increased sweating, call your doctor right away.  Ignoring even the smallest signs can be a matter of life or death.

Goal: See your doctor! Pay attention to bodily cues, and schedule a checkup, immediately.

6- Keep your emotions in check

Stress, anxiety, and depression are all taxing on your heart.  Succumbing to anger increases your chances for heart attack, as well.

Goal: Talk it out! When you feel nervous, sad, or stressed, confide in a friend or close family member.  If you’re uncomfortable asking others for help, schedule a meeting with a psychiatrist or social worker, instead.

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?

7- Snuff out the cigarettes

At the very least, you should quit smoking in order to improve your heart health and your lungs.  Smoking is linked with asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Goal: Don’t give up! If you’ve tried to quit smoking in the past, then try again.  Research shows that the more times you attempt to quit smoking cigarette, the greater the chances of eventually reaching that smoke-free goal.  Ask your healthcare provider about quit-smoking programs, or try using a nicotine patch.

Smoking and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

8- Cut down on alcohol

If you drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day, then you need to cut it down.  Research shows that drinking too much alcohol is dangerous for the heart, as well as the liver.

Goal: Seek help! If the notion of keeping your alcohol drinking down to one or two beers each day sounds overwhelming, then you might require extra assistance from Alcoholics Anonymous.

B12 and Alcohol Consumption

9- Sleep soundly

If you snore, then you might be a candidate for heart failure or stroke, according to latest research on the heavy risks of snoring.  Obstructive sleep apnea is one of many factors that may lead to cardiovascular disease.

Goal: Wear your mask! So far, the best treatment for severe sleep apnea is wearing a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP) while sleeping.

10- Take care of your choppers

Over time, your teeth develop a layer of plaque that contains bacteria.  Unless you brush and floss regularly, you can get gum disease, causing bacteria to seep into your blood supply and contributing to heart disease.

Goal: Floss it! Floss and brush morning and evening, and floss after meals.

What your Gums have to Say about your B12 Level

11- Set reasonable goals

Don’t fall victim to the “all or nothing” attitude.  You don’t have to become a health and fitness enthusiast, but nor should you throw up your hands in despair.  Accept that with every one success come numerous setbacks, and that lifestyle changes happen slowly, over a period of weeks, months, or even years.

Goal: Take baby steps! All successful weight-loss and fitness experts encourage you to set small, reachable short-term goals, in addition to the long-term goal of better health.  This allows you to feel a small measure of success, and gives you the motivation you need to stay on the wagon.  Congratulate yourself for losing 10% of your weight, losing a dress size, or every time you make a healthy food choice.

12- Respect your medications

Don’t think that just because you feel better, that you can stop taking your blood pressure medications.  Many heart patients make that common mistake.  If you are unhappy with a side effect of certain medications, then ask your doctor for an alternative.  Conversely, don’t rely on medications alone to keep you healthy. It is essential to follow a heart-healthy diet, in addition to exercising and reducing stress, for optimal cardiovascular health.

Goal: Get organized! Keep your meds somewhere where you won’t forget them.  If necessary, store a batch of precut tablets in a pill keeper.

Brain Drain Medications- Drugs that Drain the B12 out of you

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia

Sources:

5 Essential Heart Health Habits

17 Worst Habits for Your Heart

Homocysteine, Folic Acid and Cardiovascular Disease

‘Wake Up’ To Health Risks Of Heavy Snoring

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

 

 

The elderly need to increase their intake of vitamin B12, in order to avoid memory loss from vitamin B12 deficiency.  Brain loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is sometimes a part of the aging process, but by getting enough vitamin B12 in your blood, you can prevent suffering the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

HERE’S YOUR BRAIN ON B12 DEFICIENCY- MEMORY LOSS AND AGING, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Chicago study links low levels of vitamin B12 with memory loss

A 2011 study that focused on 121 community-dwelling participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project found a strong correlation between vitamin B12 deficiency and memory loss.  Scientists measured methylmalonate levels to determine vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • They found a direct relationship between low levels of vitamin B12, reduced brain volume, and decreased cognitive skills, such as loss of short-term memory.
  • Scientists noted poorer memory skills, slower thinking processes, and impaired comprehension skills as attributes associated with elevated methylmalonate levels- an indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Also considered were plasma homocysteine levels, which scientists also connected with loss of brain mass.  High levels of homocysteine are common in vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Scientists concluded that methylmalonate, an indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency, has a direct impact on brain volume, and that vitamin B12 has multiple benefits on brain chemistry beyond just memory skills.
  • In 2008, a UK study conducted by the University of Oxford produced similar results; namely, that vitamin B12 deficiency is a likely cause of brain atrophy, dementia, and short-term memory loss among the elderly.

HERE’S YOUR BRAIN ON B12 DEFICIENCY- MEMORY LOSS AND AGING, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain

For the elderly, eating foods with vitamin B12 isn’t enough

HERE’S YOUR BRAIN ON B12 DEFICIENCY- MEMORY LOSS AND AGING, WWW.B12PATCH.COMEating plenty of foods rich in vitamin B12 is always a good idea; such foods include protein sources like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese. But for the elderly, the problem isn’t really eating enough sources of vitamin B12, but rather digesting them.  Part of the aging process involves making less stomach acids that are necessary for absorbing vitamin B12 from foods.  As a result, many elderly individuals who include meat in their diet still run a high risk for getting B12 deficiency.

Unless blood tests indicate healthy levels of vitamin B12, senior citizens must supplement with vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) with a routine prescribed B12 shot in order to avoid the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Memory loss in B12 deficiency for the young and old

It isn’t just the elderly who should be concerned with memory loss- short-term memory loss is one of many symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, regardless of age.

HERE’S YOUR BRAIN ON B12 DEFICIENCY- MEMORY LOSS AND AGING, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Vitamin B12- How much do you need?

Other symptoms of dangerously low B12 levels are:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Balance problems
  • Poor muscular control
  • Numbness or tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • Sore, red swollen tongue
  • Altered taste perception

Long-term exposure to vitamin B12 deficiency could result in severe neurological damage, pernicious anemia, increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and osteoporosis.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and memory loss:

12 Ways to Avoid Alzheimer’s Disease

FDA Approves Brain Scan to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease

Adult ADHD Could Lead to Dementia

Sources:

Low Vitamin B12 Linked to Smaller Brains and Cognitive Decline

Vitamin B12 Levels Linked to Memory Skills and Brain Size

Low Vitamin B12 May Speed Brain Shrinkage

Low Vitamin B12 Linked to Smaller Brain Size

Elevated Plasma Homocysteine Is Associated with Increased Brain Atrophy Rates in Older Subjects with Mild Hypertension

Vitamin B12, cognition, and brain MRI measures- A cross-sectional examination

Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly

Image credits, from top:

Was a bee, Sean.lewis29, Ambro, photostock

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