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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin b12 benefits’

Vitamin B12, a Must for Senior Citizens

Thursday, June 13th, 2013



As a senior citizen, you require more vitamin B12 than you used to. Changes in diet, metabolism, and vitamin absorption create the need for more vitamin B12 to boost natural energy while also preventing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia which are often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease dementia. In order to prevent fatigue, memory loss, and joint pain that comes with aging, senior citizens are urged to include extra vitamin B12 in their daily regimen.

Vitamin B12, a Must for Senior Citizens

Related: Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Vitamin B12 is found in many animal-based foods, including beef, seafood, poultry, dairy, and egg products. Most people who consume plenty of meat and fish products are able to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels, but only until they reach their 50s and 60s.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that is crucial for brain health, yet most senior citizens don’t get enough of it.

It’s ironic that at the time when it’s most needed, when symptoms of dementia begin to surface, vitamin B12 supplementation is wildly under-prescribed.

Many doctors erroneously believe that symptoms such as slow thinking, memory problems, confusion, and dizziness are just natural elements of aging, and don’t bother to check for vitamin B12 deficiency, which can produce the exact same symptoms as Alzheimer’s disease dementia.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Painful numbness and tingling
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Decreased control of arm and leg movements
  • Difficulty sitting upright
  • Poor balance
  • Chronic pain from osteoporosis
  • Increased risk for heart attacks and stroke

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

Vitamin B12 deficiency in seniors

As you age, your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food sources decreases. This happens for several reasons; for one, seniors produce fewer stomach acids than younger individuals, making it harder for your body to break down essential vitamin B12 molecules and separate them from their proteins.

Also, some medications can lead to vitamin B12 malabsorption. Acid reflux drugs, such as protein pump inhibitors (PPIs), in addition to diabetes medications, and pain relievers can, over time, increase your chances for developing vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.

Additionally, as your appetite decreases with age, so does your consumption of essential nutrients, including meaty sources of vitamin B12, thus escalating your risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in old age, doctors recommend taking at least 1,000mcg of vitamin B12 supplementations, or more, as needed to replenish vitamin B12 levels and restore energy and mental focus.

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:

Prevent Dementia: 12 Natural Vitamins and Herbs

Can B12 deficiency Cause Dementia? Some Helpful Facts

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

Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos

New Test for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Just a Drop’ll do ya!

Thursday, April 25th, 2013



Recently, researchers have discovered a new way of checking for vitamin B12 deficiency that is faster and more accurate. Plus, this test for vitamin B12 levels requires less of a blood sacrifice…

New Test for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Just a Drop’ll do ya!

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have developed an innovative new method for measuring your stores of vitamin B12, one that requires 4-10 times less blood than the standard tests for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 benefits

Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that supports a healthy nervous system, in addition to also regulating normal red blood cell production.

Studies focusing on Alzheimer’s disease also recognize benefits to brain volume and cognitive skills attributed to sustaining normal levels of vitamin B12.

The benefits of vitamin B12 for boosting stamina are also noted, as it helps to convert carbohydrates to usable energy and is essential for DNA synthesis.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

When vitamin B12 levels are low, you begin to experience the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency, indicating a disruption in neurological functioning, cell division, and red blood cell production required for oxygen.

Symptoms of low B12 may include:

  • Extreme, constant fatigue
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Disorientation
  • Brain fog, confusion
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities
  • Muscle spasms
  • Weakness
  • Sore red tongue
  • Vision problems

Who’s at risk?

Vitamin B12 occurs natural in animal-based foods such as beef, poultry, and seafood. Still, even if you don’t follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may still be a risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency are:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Family history for pernicious anemia
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Lacking sufficient stomach acids, such as occurs with aging
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Medications for diabetes and acid reflux that inhibit vitamin B12 absorption

Does GERD cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Test for vitamin B12 deficiency

If you suspect you have vitamin B12 deficiency, or if it runs in the family, then you should get your vitamin B12 serum levels tested immediately. Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can become severe pernicious anemia, which causes irreversible damage to your nervous system and can be fatal.

The new test developed by the USDA only requires 25 microliters (about ½ drop) of blood to measure vitamin B12 levels, but with the introduction of robotics, it will be possible to measure vitamin B12 with only 5 microliters.

Testing for vitamin B12 deficiency will only take about four minutes, producing results more efficiently, and with more precision and reliability, as well.

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:

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption?

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

Anemia Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention


Improved Vitamin B12 Test May Help Young and Old Alike

Image courtesy of pat138241/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12: the Energy Elixir

Monday, June 11th, 2012



Why use vitamin B12 for energy? Brain fog, depression, and fatigue caused by vitamin B12 deficiency are more than just annoying- they can be debilitating. What’s the basis for using vitamin B12 shots to boost energy and mental clarity, while eliminating fatigue and brain fog, and reducing pain? Here are some energy-specific benefits of vitamin B12.


Vitamin B12 deficiency

The National Institutes of Health Medical Encyclopedia describes overwhelming fatigue as one of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to painful tingling in the hands and feet, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.

Specifically, lack of energy from vitamin B12 deficiency is the result of not getting enough oxygen to the brain.

You see, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays an active role in helping your body produce normal, healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.  So, your body relies on adequate levels of vitamin B12 for red blood cell production.

With pernicious anemia, one cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, red blood cells come out too large, misshapen, and are unable to make their way out of your bone marrow and into your blood stream, resulting in a dramatic decrease in total numbers of red blood cells in your body…and in your brain.

As a result, you feel the effects of low oxygen as tiredness, low energy, mental confusion, dizziness, memory loss, and inability to concentrate- all because you’re not getting enough vitamin B12.

Worse, long-term vitamin B12 can lead to severe irreparable nerve damage and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.


How does vitamin B12 produce energy?

The case can also be made for supplementing with vitamin B12 even if you’re not suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Several scientific studies focusing on high-doses of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) found that mega-doses of 2,500-5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 produced a 50%-80% increase of energy, productivity, and feelings of wellness in healthy individuals who did not have vitamin B12 deficiency.

We know that vitamin B12 helps your body take carbohydrates from foods that you eat and convert them into energy. So, more vitamin B12 in the blood ensures efficiency in carbohydrate digestion, thus maximum energy output.

Vitamin B12 also promotes a healthy metabolism, regulates your nervous system, and helps to sustain brain mass in your old age.

Please tell us…

Do you take vitamin B12 for energy and improved athletic performance? If so, what type of vitamin B12 do you currently use?

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+.

You might also like:

Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue

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


Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When Vitamin B12 Deficiency has you under its Spell…of Depression

Monday, February 6th, 2012



You might be surprised to know that vitamin B12 deficiency can cause symptoms like depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways, and when you don’t get enough, you can start to feel sluggish, nervous, and depressed, in addition to suffering many neurological disorders.  Sometimes, depression from B12 deficiency mimics clinical depression, interfering with a proper diagnosis.


Do you have vitamin B12 deficiency?

The only way to be certain if your B12 levels are low is by getting a blood test.  This will indicate if you need more vitamin B12, even if it doesn’t necessarily explain why your B12 levels are lower than normal.

Here are some typical signs of vitamin B12 deficiency that “masquerade” as mental illness:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression that lingers
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations

Neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency include:

  • Painful tingling in your legs, hands, and feet
  • Frequent clumsiness and tripping
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Sore tongue
  • Vision problems

How many types of depression are there?

Here are some of the most common types of depression:

WHEN VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY HAS YOU UNDER ITS SPELL…OF DEPRESSION, B12 PATCHMajor depressive disorder: The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) characterizes major depression as a “combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.” Most people who suffer from major depression will experience several episodes of depression in their lives, but it is possible to experience it only once.  With major depressive disorder, medication is required for treatment of symptoms.

Dysthymic disorder: Dysthymia is depression that lingers over several years.  With dysthymia, depression is less severe than major depression, and not as likely to interfere in one’s ability to work or study.  Still, dysthymic disorder causes feelings of sadness and disquiet.  People with dysthymia may suffer from episodes of major depression, as well.

Minor depression: Minor depression is diagnosed when one has a short interval of depression over a few weeks.  Minor depression itself is not debilitating, but untreated may escalate into major depression.

Bipolar disorder: Manic-depressive illness is less common than major depression, and involves swift mood changes that alternate from exhilarating highs to deep depression.

Psychotic depression: Depression that accompanies other forms of severe mental illness, such as hallucinations or delusions, is called psychotic depression.

Postpartum depression: About 10%-15% of women suffer from postpartum depression after giving birth, which is caused by shifting hormones and overwhelming lifestyle changes.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): During the winter months, it is common for some people to suffer from seasonal affective disorder because of decreased exposure to sunlight.  Still, antidepressants and psychotherapy are more effective at treating SAD than light therapy.

Depression from vitamin deficiency: Vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency are directly linked to some incidences of depression.  According to NIMH, “depression and poor response to antidepressant medication have been linked to deficiency in the vitamins folate and B12.”

In other studies, elevated homocysteine levels were associated with increased risk for depression.  Vitamin B12 and folate supplementation, which decrease homocysteine levels in the blood, were instrumental in treating depression.

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?

What’s the connection between vitamin B12 and depression?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is necessary for various biochemical functions, such as DNA synthesis, red blood cell distribution, production of myelin, which protects your nerve cells, and breaking down homocysteine.  In addition, vitamin B12 also helps to maintain healthy cognitive functioning.

When vitamin B12 levels are low, your brain suffers.  You begin to experience severe memory loss, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and emotional problems like depression, anxiety, paranoia, feelings of hostility, and moodiness.


What is vitamin B12, and why is it so important?

Where can I get more vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 food sources include meat, fish, milk, and egg products. However, if you suffer from pernicious anemia or other autoimmune disorders, you probably cannot digest vitamin B12 from foods, and must supplement with sublingual vitamin B12 or vitamin B12 shots.

Please tell us…

If you suffer from depression, have you had your B12 levels checked, as well? If you currently take vitamin B12 supplements, do you take them orally, through B12 injections, or otherwise?

Let us know how we’re doing…

Please comment below, and share our page with your friends!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and depression:

Eating Your Way Out of Depression with B-12

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

Vitamin Deficiencies can drive you Crazy- Seriously! Part 1


Effectiveness of Vitamin Supplementation in Treating People With Residual Symptoms of Schizophrenia

NIMH- Depression

Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12- PubMed, NCBI

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) – B12 Deficiency and 5 other Health Risks

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012



Usage of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is linked with B12 deficiency and other adverse effects, like osteoporosis.  Your body produces stomach acids for good reason- to absorb vitamin B12 (cobalamin), iron and other essential nutrients.  While heartburn is a painful symptom of acid reflux, having too few stomach acids can also cause debilitating symptoms.


What are PPIs?

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are drugs that lower the amount of stomach acid your body produces.  It’s a popular treatment for preventing acid reflux symptoms like chronic heartburn, and it’s more effective than other acid secretion inhibitors like H2 blockers (Tagamet, Zantac).  Hospitals use PPIs to prevent stomach ulcers in 40%-70% of inpatients.  Examples of proton pump inhibitors are Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Aciphex, and Protonix.

The following illnesses and conditions are treated with PPIs:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastrinomas
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)
  • Peptic ulcer disease (PUD)
  • Stress gastritis prevention.

The 20 Do’s and Don’ts of the GERD Diet

What are possible adverse effects of PPIs?

Severe vitamin B12 deficiency

Long-term PPI usage has been linked with nutritional malabsorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and iron.  Your body needs gastric acid in order to digest vitamin B12 foods sources like beef, chicken, fish, and eggs.  Without stomach acids, vitamin B12 remains bonded to the food you eat and never enters the bloodstream, eventually resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency.  Similarly, insufficient stomach acids also result in iron deficiency.

Because stomach acid production reduces with age, senior citizens, in addition to PPI users, are advised to check their vitamin B12 levels periodically.  Other people at risk for B12 deficiency are vegans, people who suffer from autoimmune and gastrointestinal disorders and anybody who has had gastric bypass or other gastrointestinal surgery.

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings


Long-term PPI usage has been linked with increased risk of hip, spine, or wrist fractures resulting from severe osteoporosis.  Researchers believe that PPIs inhibit calcium absorption and bone growth.  In studies, high doses of PPIs were directly linked with osteoporosis, and that risk increased over time.

It should be noted that osteoporosis is also a vitamin B12 deficiency side effect from PPIs, as vitamin B12 benefits include sustained bone mass.

Increased chances of intestinal infection

Long-term and short-term PPI usage can lead to clostridium difficile infection (diarrhea), according to scientific studies published by the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

Community-acquired pneumonia

If you stay at a hospital and are given proton pump inhibitors, your chances of acquiring pneumonia during your visit is increased by 30%, according to studies. While the use of PPIs for preventing stress-related ulcers is a valuable life-saving procedure, a significant amount of hospital patients who receive PPIs are not at risk for suffering from ulcers.

Rebound acid hypersecretion

If you try to wean off proton pump inhibitors, you’re likely to experience severe withdrawal effects, including sudden overproduction of stomach acids- hypergastrinemia. For this reason, PPI users become dependent on the heartburn drugs, and may suffer from adverse effects such as diarrhea, stomach tumors, and neoplasia.  Dependence on PPIs happens quickly, as early as one month into prescription.

Heart disease

Studies have linked PPI usage with decreased effectiveness of clopidogrel (Plavix), a medication prescribed for heart disease.  Also, decreased vitamin B12 is linked with increased risk for heart disease and stroke through elevated levels of homocysteine.

12 Healthy Heart Habits, Including Vitamin B12 Supplements

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with GERD, or one of the other illnesses treated with PPIs?  If so, have you noticed vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms like chronic fatigue, “pins and needles” in hands and feet, memory loss, and anxiety?

As always, we welcome your comments, inquiries, and suggestions!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and your gut:

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

5 Ways to Prevent Diverticulosis-Diverticulitis Gastro Illness


Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Linked to Clostridium Difficile Infection

Proton Pump Inhibitors Should Have Black-box Warnings, Group Tell FDA

Long-term Proton Pump Inhibitor Therapy and Risk of Hip Fracture- JAMA

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease- NEJM

Acid Blockers Linked to Pneumonia Risk

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

Monday, January 16th, 2012



What does Vitamin B12 deficiency have to do with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome?  Vitamin B12 protects your nervous system, and many of the symptoms of pernicious anemia from B12 deficiency result in poor muscle control, including muscular spasms, nervous eye twitching, decreased motor skills, and difficulty walking.


Vitamin B12 benefits the nerves

Cyanocobalamin or Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it lends itself in red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, healthy cognitive functioning, energy production, and homocysteine control.  Also, vitamin B12 helps your body produce myelin, a fatty substance that protects your nervous system’s sensitive nerve fibers in the brain and the spinal cord.

Without sufficient levels of vitamin B12, you may develop severe nerve damage- peripheral neuropathy.

Some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency- peripheral neuropathy include:

  • painful tingling and numbness in the hands, feet, and ankles
  • sore tongue
  • burning mouth syndrome
  • muscular weakness
  • muscle spasms
  • decreased motor control
  • frequent clumsiness and tripping
  • difficulty balancing on one foot
  • eye twitching


Vitamin B12 deficiency and other movement disorders

It should come as no surprise, then, that other movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease (PD) have close ties with vitamin B12 deficiency.  Involuntary muscular movements may or may not be caused by low B12 levels, but

  • In some movement disorder cases, scientists have noted improvement with vitamin B12 supplements.
  • Even when pernicious anemia is not a cause of muscle spasms or walking difficulties, researchers sometimes notice a comorbid relationship with vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Another occurrence in diagnosing movement disorders is a tendency for doctors to misdiagnose vitamin B12 deficiency as a more serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease

In a scientific report on Parkinson’s and neuropathy, researchers confirmed a high rate of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and recommended close monitoring of B12 levels and routine administration of vitamin B12 supplements. Results were published in Neurology.

Chorea- focal dystonia

Chorea is an abnormal involuntary movement disorder, part of a group of neurological disorders called dyskinesia.  Chorea is a symptom of Huntington’s disease, but it can also occur in other illnesses, including focal dystonia.  In one of many studies on vitamin B12 deficiency and focal dystonia, scientists saw favorable results with cyanocobalamin supplementation, attributing it to decreased homocysteine levels.

Restless leg syndrome

The most common symptom of restless leg syndrome is the urgent need to shake your leg to relieve “creeping, crawling” sensations, usually between the kneecap and ankle.Restless leg syndrome occurs often with peripheral neuropathy, a symptom of pernicious anemia.    Other possible causes are kidney disease, diabetes neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and drug interactions.

Stiff person syndrome

Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurological disorder that occurs with autoimmune disease. Symptoms of SPS are muscle spasms in the limbs and trunk, hypersensitivity to touch, noise, and stress, and stiff posture.  People who often suffer stiff person syndrome are patients of pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency), diabetes, thyroiditis, and vitiligo.

Gait ataxia

Ataxia is an inability to control muscular movements used in walking, jumping, balancing, or holding objects. Chronic ataxia is one of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, along with muscular weakness, poor reflexes, spasticity, vision impairment, dementia, and psychosis, according to a Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center study of 153 patients suffering from cobalamin deficiency neuropathy.

Eye movement disorders

Nystagmus, uncontrollable movements of the eyeballs, might be caused by low vitamin B12 levels, according to a study focusing on downbeat nystagmus and vitamin B12 deficiency.  Another phenomenon common with B12 deficiency is myokymia- eyelid twitching.

Read more about B12 deficiency and your nervous system:

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Myokymia is not a Hawaiian Island- Eyelid Twitching and Eye Spasms


The Movement Disorder Society- MDS

Eye movement disorders in vitamin B12 deficiency: two new cases and a review of the literature

Neuropathy in Parkinson disease

Reversible Chorea and Focal Dystonia in Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Restless leg syndrome

Neurologic aspects of cobalamin deficiency- PubMed NCBI

Stiff-Person Syndrome

Images, from top:

eye2eye, milos milosevic

Myokymia is not a Hawaiian Island- Eyelid Twitching and Eye Spasms

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011



Are constant eyelid twitching and eye spasms driving you batty?  Myokymia might be a sign of pernicious anemia caused by low vitamin B12 levels.  Learn how to stop eye twitching by halting vitamin B12 deficiency in its tracks.


What is myokymia?

Myokymia is a disorder that causes muscles in your body to twitch involuntarily.  Myokymia twitches can affect any groups of nerves or muscles in your body, including your arms, legs, fingers, and back. 

It can also occur on your face- hemifacial spasms are muscular twitches that begin on one side of your face, usually the eye.  Over time, hemifacial spasms can expand to include the rest of your face, on one side.

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Why is my eye twitching?

Myokymia is a type of nerve damage called trigeminal neuralgia.  When your eyelid keeps twitching out of control, it is because the nerves that control the opening and closing of your eyes have been damaged. Eye twitches can occur in either the lower eyelid or upper eyelid,

Causes of myokymia

Causes of eye twitching may include stress, excessive alcohol usage, and staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.  Eye spasms can also be a reaction to caffeine, or may signify low levels of cobalamin- vitamin B12.

B12 deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B12 benefits include red blood cell production, protection of the nervous system’s myelin sheathe, cognitive functioning, DNA synthesis, and lowered homocysteine levels.

If your body does not store adequate amounts of vitamin B12, you may get B12 deficiency, and ultimately severe pernicious anemia, a type of megaloblastic anemia blood disease.

B12 deficiency causes emotional and cognitive disorders such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Decreased mental focus
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Pernicious anemia symptoms include severe nerve damage, such as eyelid spasms caused by myokymia.  Lower eyelid twitches are most common with vitamin B12 deficiency patients.  

Other symptoms of nerve damage caused by pernicious anemia include:

  • Numbness and painful tingling in the hands and feet
  • Arms or legs constantly “falling asleep”
  • Prickly feeling in the tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Sore or swollen tongue

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

Stop eye twitching

If you suspect that you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then consult your physician and request a blood test for B12 levels. If diagnosed with low B12, then your doctor will prescribe vitamin B12 supplements. 

If you have pernicious anemia, then you might have to get routine B12 shots indefinitely. Once you start taking vitamin B12, you will notice a decrease in pernicious anemia symptoms immediately, and total reversal of symptoms by the time your B12 levels return to normal.


Multiple Sclerosis and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Hemifacial Spasm Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Signs of B12 Deficiency

Myokymia – Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Eyelid Myokymia

Image credits, from top:

cameronparkins, graur codrin, Tambako the Jaguar

Treat Vitiligo with Vitamin B12: Say Goodbye to White Skin Patches

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011



Vitiligo is a skin disease that often occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency- Find out if taking B12 supplements can treat your vitiligo symptoms and get rid of white patches on your skin forever.


What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes you to lose brown pigmentation, resulting in white patches on your skin.  Hair growing in white skin spots caused by vitiligo may turn white, as well.  About 1% of all people in the world have vitiligo, including roughly two million US citizens.  Although vitiligo affects people of all races, it is more noticeable in darker skinned ethnic groups.

Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

What causes vitiligo?

Doctors are uncertain what exactly causes the skin disorder vitiligo, but they believe it might be an autoimmune disorder.  Also, they have noticed strong correlations with certain chronic conditions.  People who suffer vitiligo usually fall into one of four groups:

  • Hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid gland) patients
  • Pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency) patients
  • Addison’s disease (underactive adrenal gland) patients
  • Alopecia areata patients (people with patches of baldness)

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo causes telltale patches of white skin (depigmentation), typically on parts of your body that get the most sun exposure, like your hands, feet, and face, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and lips.  

Vitiligo can also occur on covered-up parts of your body, like your stomach, hips, and armpits, though that is not as common. 

Other symptoms of vitiligo may include premature hair greying, including grey eyelash hair.  White patches can also occur in the inside of the mouth.

For some, vitiligo symptoms remain only in one area of the body.  For others, patches of white skin may slowly spread over years to other parts of the body.

How will taking vitamin B12 supplements affect my vitiligo symptoms?

In one clinical study, vitamin B12 and folic acid were administered to patients who suffered from vitiligo.  They were also instructed to keep records of sun exposure.

  • More than half of the 100 vitiligo patients noticed dramatic results- 37 of which had opted for sun exposure.
  • Six volunteers who took the vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements experienced noticeably superior results.

Scientists confirmed that supplementing with vitamin B12 and folic acid, combined with sun exposure, is more beneficial for vitiligo patients than simple sun exposure alone.

Read more about B12 deficiency:

Eat this to Prevent Hair Loss- 5 Foods for Healthy Hair

7 Commandments for Taming Frizzy Hair


Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure- PubMed, NCBI

Vitiligo Treatment, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Signs on MedicineNet.com

Image credits:

Stuart Miles

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Thursday, December 8th, 2011



If you’re planning a pregnancy, you might want to check your B12 levels- numerous reports link vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy with miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, and other fertility problems.  B12 deficiency anemia- pernicious anemia- makes it harder for women to conceive, as well as for men to produce fertile sperm.


Medical research proves the fertility-B12 deficiency link

One of the most famous studies on fertility and B12 deficiency examined fourteen women of childbearing age who suffered vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMAll women who participated in the study suffered severe vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in addition to low fertility- Four had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for two to eight years, and eleven experienced repeated miscarriages and spontaneous abortions.
  • Dr. Michael Bennett, hematologist of the Ha’Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, implemented vitamin B12 supplementation to see if it would have any effect on their ability to conceive and have healthy pregnancies.
  • If fetal loss were to continue despite elevating B12 levels, it would prove that infertility was unrelated to B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia symptoms.
  • Instead, result showed that ten out of the fourteen test subjects experienced favorable results from vitamin B12 supplements. The results can be found in this study on vitamin B12 and fertility.

Dr. Bennett explains the connection

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMBennett notes that B12 deficiency, combined with folate deficiency, led to thrombophilia (blood clotting) in seven of the women studied, thus increasing their risk for miscarriage.
  • He believes that taking large amounts of folic acid, a nutrient prescribed to women of childbearing age, often masks B12 deficiency symptoms, making it harder to diagnose and treat.
  • In his conclusion, Dr. Bennett attributes raised homocysteine levels, a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency, with repeated fetal loss, and over time, ovulation disorder.

“Correcting this deficiency can rapidly lead to a normal pregnancy,” states Bennett.  “This study illustrates the importance of measuring B12 levels…in every patient investigated for infertility or recurrent (miscarriage).”

Report findings are available by The Journal of Reproductive Medicine.


Why does my body need B12?

Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it helps to produce red blood cells, promotes DNA synthesis, guards the nervous system’s myelin sheath, maintains cognitive functioning, lowers homocysteine levels, and supports metabolism.  

Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve damage, cognitive disorders, and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

What symptoms are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency?

Since vitamin B12 interacts with so many different areas of the body, many seemingly unrelated symptoms indicate vitamin B12 deficiency.  Pernicious anemia masks itself as mood disorders, diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, and other chronic conditions.

Some common symptoms of B12 deficiency:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • “Brain fog”
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Painful tingling, numbness or “prickly” sensations, mainly in the hands and feet
  • Sore, swollen tongue
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Loss of balance while walking, running, or jumping
  • Decreased fine motor skills
  • Muscular feebleness
  • Heart palpitations

Read more about B12 deficiency and pregnancy:

Pregnant Moms and Low B-12 Levels: Let ‘em Eat Steak!

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?


Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and recurrent fetal loss- PubMed, NCBI

Lack Of Vitamin B12 Linked To Repeat Miscarriage

Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and miscarriage

Pernicious Anemia

Image credits, from top:

Stuart Miles, Ambro, photostock, winnond

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.


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.


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.


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


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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