Vitamin B12

  1. Vitamin B12 deficiency common in seniors

    Your “dementia” might just be a deficiency!

    Your doctor will tell you there’s no turning back now.

    When he diagnoses you with dementia, he’ll say there’s not a whole lot you can do about it – and that you might want to get your affairs in order while you’re still capable.

    He’ll make it sound downright hopeless.

    Don’t give up, my friend, because there’s a simple test that your doctor never bothered to run…and that could reveal the shocking truth: You don’t have dementia at all!

    Now, the latest research out of Canada confirms what I see here at the Stengler Center all the time: A simple nutritional deficiency that can mimic dementia is far more common in seniors than anyone in the mainstream has ever acknowledged.

    The new study finds more than HALF of all seniors fall short of vitamin B12, which is essential to both mood and memory.

    More importantly, the study finds 1 in 6 seniors have VERY serious B12 deficiencies – and when the levels sink that low in older folks, you end up with what any doc would describe as the “textbook signs” of dementia.

    But it’s not dementia… it’s a deficiency, and unlike dementia, all you need to do is boost your B12 intake and this copycat can often be treated and sometimes even REVERSED.

    In some cases, it’s as easy as taking a supplement with high doses of B12, but that doesn’t always work. Certain stomach disorders and medications such as acid reflux drugs can make it difficult for you to absorb your B12, and all the supplements in the vitamin shop won’t make a difference.

    In those cases, vitamin B12 injections might be the better option while you work with your doctor to get off those stomach acid drugs and correct any digestive problems you may have.

    Don’t wait. Get checked out ASAP, because consistently low B12 levels can do permanent damage to your brain and nerves.

    Low B12 isn’t the only dementia mimic out there. Exposure to metals, especially lead, can also wrap your brain in the dense fog of cognitive decline. This is yet another TREATABLE condition – so if you have any of the warning signs of dementia, get yourself tested for both nutritional deficiencies and exposure to metals.

    If you’re in Southern California, I can run those tests right here at my clinic in the San Diego area. Not in the area? I’m also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to arrange a consultation.

  2. Vitamin B12 levels can slash your risk of a fracture

    B12 for bone health

    When it comes to bone health, vitamin B12 levels aren't the first thing that comes to mind. It's not second, third or fourth, either.

    It might not even crack the top 10.

    But maybe it should make that list after all, because new research finds that low B12 levels can lead to a bone break, especially in senior men.

    The lower your levels, the higher your risk, according to the study of more than 1,000 men with an average age of 75. And if you're among the millions quietly suffering from low B12 levels, you're facing a 70 percent higher risk of fracture overall and a 120 percent jump in the risk of a potentially crippling lumbar fracture.

    That's a fracture you might not recognize as a bone break at first. No, all you know is that you've got a little back pain -- and since back pain tends to come and go over the years, you might even ignore it at first.

    But this one doesn't go away.

    Instead, it gets progressively worse -- and eventually, you're in so much pain you can't even bend down to tie your shoes.

    Standing too long hurts. Sitting too much hurts. And you don't even want to think about how tough it is to sleep with a lumbar fracture.

    That's why it's critical to give your bones everything they need to stay strong. While B12 may play a role here, this is the first study to make the link -- so let's not rush out and add B12 for bone health just yet.

    I'd like to see more research first.

    That said, most seniors are low in B vitamins -- and since these nutrients are critical to brain and nerve function, adding a supplement is not a bad idea.

    (Click here for more on B12 levels and brain health.)

    But for bone health, let's stick to the tried and true.

    You already know about the importance of calcium when it comes to bone health. But what you may not realize is that calcium is practically useless by itself. You need both vitamin D and magnesium to put it to work -- and while many people have adequate calcium levels, most fall short in D and magnesium.

    Also consider vitamin K, which the body needs to form the protein that brings calcium into the bone matrix. Studies have shown that low K levels increase the risk of both osteoporosis and bone breaks.

    One note of caution: Speak with a doctor before taking vitamin K, especially if you're on blood thinners.

  3. Stomach acid meds and vitamin B12 deficiency

    Common stomach acid meds taken by millions can leave you deficient in vitamin B12, a nutrient needed by your heart, brain and more.
  4. Downside of the vegan life

    A new study finds that vegans have a bone density that is about 5 percent lower than that of their meat-eating counterparts.

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