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Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin B12 Aging’

America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 2

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

 

 

Last year, Dr. Oz aired America’s B12 Deficiency, a highly informative and eye-opening program focusing on the increasing rate of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in our society.

America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1

Here is a recap of part 2 of that show.

(Continued from America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1)

Dr. Oz continues this segment with question #4, “Have you noticed tingling or numbness in your hands, your feet?”

This is one of the most common neurological conditions of vitamin B12 deficiency, neuropathy from decreased levels of vitamin B12.

The next question he asks, “Has your tongue become inflamed, red?” illustrates another early sign of vitamin B12 deficiency that most people don’t link to malabsorption.

Reasons for vitamin B12 deficiency

According to guest Dr. Katz, medications are a significant cause of vitamin B12 malabsorption, ticking off common over-the-counter and prescription drugs such as aspirin, which may erode the stomach linings, in addition to protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) for GERD and metformin for diabetes, which inhibit production of intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme required for vitamin B12 absorption.

“And by the way, we hasten to add here, we’re not telling you to stop taking medications if you need it, but just to recognize this could cause B12 deficiency.”

Additionally, adds Dr. Oz and Dr. Katz, excessive supplementation of folate may exacerbate and hide the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency, putting off your chances of diagnosing an existing depletion of vitamin B12 until levels become dangerously low, increasing your risk for early-onset dementia from old age and cognitive problems such as depression, fatigue, memory loss, and disorientation.

“…and the problem with that is, there is a point at which B12 deficiency is no longer fully reversible.

If you don’t find it within the first months to couple of years, and fix it, some of those effects on cognition can persist.”

Old age is another strong risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency, and guest Kate Geagan agrees that as you age, the cells in your stomach age as well, secreting fewer stomach acids needed to digest vitamin B12 and other important nutrients. As a result, elderly individuals have a harder time separating vitamin B12 from food proteins and absorbing it into the system.

“Statistically, we don’t have that capability to secrete the gastric juices you need to cleave that B12 from the protein so that then you can start the process of absorbing it.”

To be continued…

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, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Real Illness?


Image courtesy of David Berkowitz/ Wikimedia

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America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

 

 

Last year, Dr. Oz aired America’s B12 Deficiency, a highly informative and eye-opening program focusing on the increasing rate of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in our society. Here is a recap of part 1 of that show.

America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1

Are you exhausted? Are you forgetting things? Are you feeling depressed? You may just think it’s your age. But it might be something much more insidious. You could be suffering from a condition called vitamin B12 deficiency.”

These are the first questions that Dr. Oz asks his audience in this informative segment on vitamin B12 deficiency, a rising epidemic in the US that currently affects up to 40 percent of the population.

Enter the introduction, alarming, but rightfully so:

“There’s a stealth weapon protecting your body from disease and you don’t even know it: Vitamin B12, nature’s superhero of supplements.”

Vitamin B12 is needed for healthy red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to the brain. Symptoms resulting from low vitamin B12 levels may include depression, fatigue, and memory loss, and may even increase your risk for stroke and heart disease.

While vitamin B12 occurs naturally in protein foods such as beef, chicken, and fish, an increasing number of individuals must compensate for low vitamin B12 levels by supplementing with weekly vitamin B12 shots or sublingual B12 lozenges.

“Could you be suffering of a deficiency of the super vitamin you didn’t know you needed?”

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

“Two-thirds of you have vitamin B12 deficiency”

Dr. Oz shocks his audience by informing them that an earlier selected portion of the audience received vitamin B12 blood tests, and that roughly two-thirds of the audience has been found vitamin B12 deficient.

He introduces director and cofounder of the Yale Prevention Research Center, David Katz, along with nutritionist Kate Geagan.

Dr. Katz  is not surprised by the blood test results, adding that “…the conservative estimates have B12 deficiency level about 15%, but as you mentioned earlier, up to 40%.”

“Why should we be concerned?”

Vitamins are essential for fundamental health. Vitamin B12 is necessary for plenty of red blood cells, and a deficiency could indicate pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 protects the nervous system, insulating individual neurons from harm while also sustaining normal intercellular communication. Vitamin B12 also supports DNA synthesis, so naturally, a depletion in vitamin B12 can be disastrous for your basic physiological functioning.

…”without adequate levels of B12, we can’t make DNA…if you can’t make DNA, your cells can’t divide, you can’t replace worn out body parts, so it’s effects really ripple throughout all of human physiology.”

Adds Dr. Oz, in other words, vitamin B12 deficiency ages us- makes us feel older than we really are.

Why the rise in vitamin B12 deficiency?

Part of the reason we’re seeing escalating incidences of vitamin B12 deficiency is simply because Baby Boomers are getting older, resulting in a large group of individuals who are having difficulty digesting vitamin B12 naturally from the foods they eat.

Add to that the popularity of many prescription medications that interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, such as aspirins, acid reflux treatments, and diabetes drugs.

Also, as more people are being advised to follow a vegan diet, or a low-fat diet including foods that have little vitamin B12, more US citizens are finding their vitamin B12 levels diminishing, especially when compared to cultures that eat plenty of B12-rich seafood, such as Japan, where vitamin B12 deficiency rates are consistently lower than ours.

Detecting vitamin B12 deficiency

“…the blood test that you could get can be valuable to you, but equally important to me is the symptoms you have.”

To help establish if you may have vitamin B12 deficiency, Dr. Oz recommends asking yourself the following questions:

#1: Do you suffer from an overall lack of energy?

#2: Have you noticed any unusual mood changes?

#3: Do you have difficulty concentrating or remembering things?

To be continued…

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, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Real Illness?


Image courtesy of David Berkowitz/ Wikimedia

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