Maintain your brain; Are you vitamin B12 deficient?
As a member of the general public, you are often receiving conflicting information regarding supplementation of vitamins, what is necessary, what is not and most doctors simply do not know enough about nutrition to council you appropriate during your 10 minute visit with them.
The problem is that often, we have symptoms that are poorly understood by the medical community which lead to specialist visits, tests and drugs that are non curative, and have many side effects. Often, signs of dementia are handled with drugs when the problem may be related to a simple vitamin deficiency in older people.
Older patients need to be well informed about certain health issues and Vitamin B12 is one of those deficiencies that can affect our brains causing dementia, depression mental impairment.
There are a number of reasons you may become deficient, including a reduced level of stomach acid as you age which can affect the enzyme pepsin and a gastric protein called intrinsic factor to release the vitamin from the food protein it is attached to. This is more common in older people as we produce less stomach acid in our later years, and the problems are exacerbated when patients are placed on medications that reduce or buffer stomach acid as well, a common tactic employed by many of the stomach medications designed to help you relieve stomach distress from reflux or other problems. (As a side note, stomach discomfort often has a musculoskeletal causation overlooked by most primary doctors, as they have little training in its diagnosis. A chiropractor who performs myofascial release can get great results if the stomach problem is due to problems in the rectus abdominus, obliques or the diaphragm, and often, it is which would avoid many expensive tests that come back with a negative result.)
If you want to find out more about vitamin B12, check out this excellent article in the NY Times
Vitamin B12 as Protection for the Aging Brain
By JANE E. BRODY SEPT. 6, 2016
As a woman of a certain age who consumes a well-balanced diet of all the usual food groups, including reasonable amounts of animal protein, I tend to dismiss advice to take a multivitamin supplement. I”™ve been told repeatedly by nutrition experts that the overuse of dietary supplements for “œnutritional insurance” has given Americans the most expensive urine in the world.
I do take a daily supplement of vitamin D, based on considerable evidence of its multiple health benefits, especially for older people. However, based on advice from the National Academy of Medicine and an examination of accumulating research, I”™m prompted to consider also taking a vitamin B12 supplement in hopes of protecting my aging brain.
Animal protein foods “” meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs “” are the only reliable natural dietary sources of B12, and I do get ample amounts of several in my regular diet. But now at age 75, I wonder whether I”™m still able to reap the full benefit of what I ingest.