Monday, February 15, 2010
Although needed only in very small quantities, vitamin B12 is one of those nutrients that make life worth living. Deficiencies can manifest as the living hell of depression, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive behavior and manic-depression, not to mention life-threatening anemia, cancer and heart disease. Many cases diagnosed as Alzheimer's are actually the result of inadequate B12.
Is this scary stuff or what?? One vitamin deficiency can cause these problems? Does this show how important nutrition really is?
Early signs of deficiency include fatigue, tingling in the hands and feet, sleep disorders and a tendency to irrational anger.
Usable vitamin B12 is found only in animal products. It is absorbed through a complex process involving an "intrinsic factor", secreted by the parietal cells in the stomach. Deficiencies are most likely to appear in vegetarians, who do not consume animal products, and in the elderly and those deficient in hydrochloric acid or pancreatic enzymes, who cannot produce or use the intrinsic factor.
B12 is rendered unusable by pasteurization, which is why it is so important for vegetarians to use raw milk products. Unfortunately, vegetarian groups have opted for soy products, rather than lobby for access to raw milk products as a religious right.
Rather than universal testing for serum cholesterol, wouldn't it be better to test all adults for B12 status on a regular basis? In the early stages of deficiency, symptoms can be reversed by supplements of the vitamin in a form that is easy to absorb. At later stages deficiency, the neurological damage is irreversible.
(Info from Nourishing Traditions)


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Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand
Hi.. Im Katie. I am 20 years old. I am a student nurse. I love learning about healthy eating and living healthy lifestyles. There are so many lies and myths about the food we eat today and I am determined to spread the word. If you have any questions don't be shy to ask. Email me at P.S I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose conditions. I am just hear to educate myself and others. Any symptoms I address please see your doctor.
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