Thursday, June 14, 2012

The B12 Deficiency and Dementia Link!

As I was recently reviewing the medical literature from numerous sources, I found that before 1960, very few cases of Alzheimer's dementia were reported. After that year, the cases of dementia grew exponentially and do not appear to be secondary to aging alone.

So what is responsible for this explosion of Alzheimer's Disease? To find an answer, we need to look at a number of variables that have changed--things such as diet, exposure to environmental toxins, the mercury in the flu-shot vaccination, and changes in medical practice. All of these have likely contributed to the rise in this debilitating condition, but one factor I feel is particularly interesting because i involves modern medical practices.

In an effort to stem the public's interest in seeking alternative treatments, the medical establishment created the term "evidence-based" medical practice. This implies that anything they do not approve of must be quackery. Chiropractic has had a fair share of this misguided medical discrimination but chiros keep seeing more and more health-conscious, wellness orientated patients who are sick of taking the drugs-for-everything approach. Our evidence is based on results that speak for themselves.

When I was growing up, it was common medical practice for elderly people to regular B12 shots, at least every 6 months if not every month. But then the evidence-based medical elite decided that there was no "evidence" for this age-old practice. Unfortunately, they chose to ignore the knowledge that most elderly people, even those who were supposedly healthy, were deficient in vitamin B12, a vitamin that is essential for many metabolic functions, especially in the heart and brain.

A new 5-year study conducted at the University of Oxford in England measured brain shrinkage (atrophy) using yearly MRI scans of  elderly subjects' brains.  Researchers also measured blood levels of B12 and homocysteine (an amino acid that is commonly elevated in people with B12 deficiency).You see...homocysteine is also an excitotoxin. What researchers found was that the study subjects with the lowest B12 levels had the greatest brain shrinkage. Brain shrinkage was not correlated with elevated homocysteine levels, which indicated that the B12 deficiency did not even need to be severe to cause the brain to atrophy

The Way I See It.....brain shrinkage can be a significant indicator of future difficulties with memory, orientation, and language. The connection is there...people with Alzheimer's Disease have very low vitamin B12 levels.

In the past, the cyanocobalamin form of B12 was used to treat deficiency, but it is less compatible with the body then is methycobalamin, which can be administered by a sublingual tablet (under the tongue). I recommend a dose of 5000 mcg a day. Don't worry...vitamin B12 has no known toxicity at any dose. I guess those old country doctors were not so primitive in their thinking after all.

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