Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

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Summary

Vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common in the elderly, vegetarians, vegans, smokers and alcoholics, but its prevalence may be increasing because of modern diets and lifestyle factors and especially vegetarianism and chronic mercury toxicity. A functional deficiency underlies various cardiovascular and neurological diseases, resulting in ataxia (shaky movements and unsteady gait), muscle weakness, faintness and fatigue, lethargy, weight loss, spasticity, incontinence, hypotension, vision problems, irritability, mood disturbances, dementia, psychoses, and even megaloblastic anaemia.

The body stores several years supply of this vitamin so deficiency takes some time to establish itself. If not treated, vitamin B12 deficiency can potentially cause severe and irreversible damage especially to the central nervous system. If Vitamin B12 deficiency is allowed to become chronic it may result in the accumulation of the toxin homocysteine which has been implicated in a variety of neurological and cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke and cognitive impairment, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and eclampsia.

An inability to absorb B12 through the gut causes pernicious anaemia

About Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming more common due to modern diets and dietary exclusionism, and lifestyle factors which directly deplete the vitamin and include excess consumption of alcohol, smoking, chronic mercury toxicity from dental amalgam and thimerosal based vaccinations, the use of vitamin-depleting pharmaceutical drugs, and mal-absorptive bowel disorders.

Vitamin B12 is essential for methylation reactions in the body, the production of vital neurotransmitters in the brain, the maintenance of the myelin sheath on nerves, the production of red blood cells, and the formation of nucleic acids like DNA and RNA. Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with symptoms of ataxia such as shaky movements and unsteady gait, muscle weakness, faintness and fatigue, spasticity, incontinence, hypotension, vision problems, irritability, mood disturbances, dementia, psychoses, and even megaloblastic anaemia. It may also underlie various inflammatory and cardiovascular states like skin conditions, asthma, high cholesterol, and heart disease. It is also implicated in neurological diseases like neuralgia, neuropathy, diabetic neuropathy, neuromuscular degeneration, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disorders, depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

These conditions often get misdiagnosed as illnesses in their own right by doctors and psychiatrists unfamiliar with this simple biochemical imbalance and they may resort to prescribing pharmaceutical drugs to manage symptoms without addressing the underlying cause. Vitamin B12 deficiency responds well to the introduction of activated coenzyme form of vitamin B12 like methylcobalamin, 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, and dibencozide.

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