Cancer, Depression and Memory Loss – Vitamin B 12 Deficiency


Hi. Dr. Osborne here with Web Wellness University. Today I want to talk a little bit about Vitamin
B-12. Vitamin B-12 is one of the essential nutrients
that humans require to sustain normal function. And the only way we can really get it is through
our diet. Our body can’t synthesize Vitamin B-12 on
its own so we have to get it from diet. What’s important to understand is that the
only valid source of Vitamin B-12 is meat, animal product. So, I may be busting a lot of vegetarian bubbles
out there, but without meat, you are not really going to be able to get adequate bio-available
Vitamin B-12 in your diet and so then you’re going to suffer the consequences potentially
of Vitamin B-12 deficiency. There are a number of different things that
we know of that can cause a Vitamin B-12 deficiency, and so, obviously, one of the biggest factors
that we see is gluten sensitivity. Gluten actually, one of the components that,
or one of the ways that gluten can impact or affect Vitamin B-12 is through the stomach. Your stomach, okay, is lined with a type of
cell called a parietal cell. Now, parietal cells have a job to do. That job is they make acid, and they make
a chemical known as intrinsic factor. Now, what’s important to know is that when
you eat meat, to get your Vitamin B-12, the acid in your stomach that’s produced breaks
the Vitamin B-12 off of the meat. Once the B-12 is freed up, it’s bound to that
I.F., or that intrinsic factor. Think of intrinsic factor the way that you
would think of a taxi cab. That intrinsic factor carries Vitamin B-12
down through your small intestine where it’s then absorbed into your bloodstream. So if we don’t have adequate acid or we don’t
have adequate intrinsic factor, we actually can develop a Vitamin B-12 deficiency, even
if we are eating plenty of meat. So, parietal cells can actually be damaged,
okay, by gluten. That’s actually one of the mechanisms of gluten
induced Vitamin B-12 deficiency. We also know that acid, right, the acid, once
the parietal cells are affected, that the acid levels can drop in the stomach and that
the intrinsic factor levels can drop as well. Know one of the other things that we found,
it’s an autoimmune disease known as pernicious anemia. And pernicious anemia is when your immune
system starts to attack intrinsic factor. And as gluten is highly related or highly
associated with induction of autoimmune disease, there’s also this correlation where gluten
can impact the immune system’s attack, or the the effect that the immune system has
toward intrinsic factor. So there’s actually two mechanisms that gluten
sensitivity can induce in terms of creating a Vitamin B-12 deficiency in the stomach alone. Now if we talk about the small intestine,
we also know that villus atrophy is associated with celiac disease, can also lead to malabsorption
of b vitamin, Vitamin B-12, so, there’s really three mechanisms from an absorption standpoint
that gluten can impact with Vitamin B-12 and both the stomach and small intestines. So that’s one mechanism of how gluten sensitivity,
or how Vitamin B-12 can become deficient. Now one of the most common side effects of
gluten sensitivity is heartburn. And so sometimes, when a patient develops
heartburn, what happens? They go see their doctor and they get prescribed
Nexium or proposet, or Tagamet, these are medications that reduce acid. So, we’re talking about acid reducing blockers
or acid blockers, right? And when we reduce stomach acid, just like
we saw here, we reduce the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin B-12. Now, sometimes even not going to the doctor,
but taking drugs like Tums or Rolaids, those over the counter antacid medications can also
contribute to this problem. And so we’ve got to be really careful if you
have heartburn, instead of just accepting, ‘hey, I have heartburn, I need to take this
medication’, you may just ask yourself why the heartburn is there in the first place,
and there are a number of reasons why this can happen. And the things I would initially investigate
are infection. Often times hylicobatcter pylorian infection,
which is a type of bacterial infection, can cause heartburn. But also, we can have different food allergies
and food intolerances that can induce heartburn, so you want to rule those things out before
you just start blindly taking a medication. It’s going to impact your stomach acid and
subsequently impact Vitamin B-12. Now, so we’ve got gluten sensitivity can cause
a Vitamin B-12 deficiency, we have heartburn that can cause a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. One of the other things that I commonly see
clinically is we see chemo treatments for cancer inducing Vitamin B-12 deficiencies. So, if your undergoing chemotherapy, if you
are undergoing cancer therapy, one of the primary nutrients you want to make sure you
are getting high enough doses of is Vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 has a very important function
as it relates to cancer. One of the things that happens with chemotherapy
is the stomach and the intestines become very irritated, very upset, and basically the lining
erodes away because one of the mechanisms of chemo medication is that it actually inhibits
Vitamin B-12 and folic acid, folic acid being another b vitamin. And so with chemo patients, one of the things
that’s very safe to do is, it doesn’t interfere with the medication, is to take high doses
of Vitamin B-12. 10,000-15,000 micrograms of Vitamin B-12,
would not be out of the ordinary for somebody undergoing this type of treatment to try to
prevent the nausea and the stomach issues and the intestinal issues that the chemo patients
commonly have. Now other things can cause Vitamin B-12 deficiency. For example, not eating enough meat. Vegetarianism, but also, other things that
can cause Vitamin B-12 deficiency, high levels of sugar in the diet, inadequate eating foods
that are hard to digest, and so that causes an excessive burden or excessive effect on
the parietal cells of the stomach and their ability to digest. Pancreatic insufficiencies can contribute
to Vitamin B-12, so, a number of components that can contribute to B-12 deficiency. Now, why is all that important? Well, if we look at Vitamin B-12 deficiency
and the symptoms that can come out of that, one of the main symptoms that we see, the
first two symptoms clinically before it shows up in the bloodstream, before lab tests detect
Vitamin B-12 deficiency, we see not depressions, but we see depression. And I mean depression as in sadness, depression
as in mental depression, right? And so a person will feel lethargic, they’ll
have brain fog, they’ll be depressed, they won’t have energy, they won’t have motivation,
they’ll feel like they really just don’t want to get out of bed today or really aren’t motivated
to do a whole lot. The other thing, or I said there’s two common
symptoms, one is depression, and the other fatigue. So these two will generally show up first. And these kind of are symptoms, when a person
has them a doctor commonly will, what will they do? Well, they’ll get a prescription for medication,
right? Well usually get a prescription for some type
of anti-depressant medication. What’s interesting is that anti-depressant
medications can cause folic acid deficiency. And so now, folic acid deficiency just like
Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause depression, and so, we don’t want to take a medication
without discerning the origin of the depression. Without discerning the origin of the fatigue. And so it’s important to understand this concept. Now Vitamin B-12 deficiency, one of its other
very common symptoms that we see develop is a neuropathy. Now, neuropathy is nerve damage. And so generally what we can see, now nerve
damage can happen to any type of nerve. We have motor nerves which control our muscles,
right? We also have sensory nerves that detect vibration
sensation and touch and feel, right? But we also have nerves in our brain and that’s
why the neuropathy often times the depression is a form of neuropathy. But we tend to think of neuropathy as the
inability to feel. And so we think of diabetic neuropathy when
we lose the sensation or feeling in our feet. Well Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause that. If you suspect that your Vitamin B-12 is deficient,
have your doctor do a very simple test you can have your doctor run, and it’s a vibration
sensation test. It’s a little vibration tuning fork he can
put on your toes to detect early loss of vibration and sensation. That’s one of the first neuropathical signs
of a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. So again, neuropathy can develop, and sometimes
we’ll also get acute nerve pain with B-12 deficiency. So you can have sharp shooting pains traveling
down nerve distributions in your arms, your legs, your feet, etc. So neuropathy another symptom of Vitamin B-12
deficiency. Another symptom is anemia. When people think of anemia, most often, they
think of iron deficiency. Well Vitamin B-12 deficiency can also cause
anemia. Now there’s three types of anemia that b 12
can cause. One of those types is low white blood cells,
one type is low red blood cells, okay, and another type is low levels of platelets. These are all just different types of anemia. And so what happens if we have low levels
of white blood cells, that’s going to supress our immune function. And now our immune system’s not going to work
as well as it should. So we can get some suppression of immunie
function with Vitamin B-12 deficiency. When we have a red blood cell anemia, in essence
when our red blood cells we either don’t make enough or the red blood cells that we are
making are not maturing properly because b 12 plays a roll in both of those elements,
what ends up happening is we don’t deliver oxygen to the brain, we don’t deliver adequate
oxygen to the muscle tissues, and so this deficiency, this type of anemia can cause,
again, the same thing we see over here, which is, that fatigue, that mental lethargy, that
inability to think clearly, that mental fog or brain fog. That can be caused as a result of the anemic
complications of not producing adquate red blood cells. And remember red blood cells job is to carry
oxygen through the body. So we can get that anemia and we can have
that oxygen deprivation. Now the other thing that oxygen deprivation
often times causes is muscular pain. Because the muscles that require a large degree
of oxygen to function normally and so when they’re deprived, again, we’re not saying
that the muscles are completely void of oxygen, we’re just saying they’re not getting enough. Well when that happens, muscles go into spasm
and when they’re in spasm long enough, we get a build up of chemicals that can actually
stimulate nerves and cause pain. So this anemia can lead to a lot of your muscle
pains and aches as well. And then we can have platelet disorders. And low levels of platelets can be quite a
clinical dangerous situation. Because platelets are what clot your blood
and so if you’re not producing adequate amounts of platelets if you get a cut you can bleed
and the bleed out won’t stop because your body’s not making enough platelets to clot
that blood so that can be quite a dangerous situation. So we’ve got, again, we’ve got depression,
fatigue, we’ve got nerve damage, we’ve got anemias that can all occur as a result of
Vitamin B-12 deficiency. So, it’s very, very important, again, that
if we’re having symptoms associated with any of these conditions, we ask our doctor to
look at Vitamin B-12. And again, I’ve said this before a number
of times about nutrients, but we don’t want to look at serum b-12 levels because they’re
not very accurate. They’re not a good marker, they’re not a good
indicator for the b-12 that’s inside your cells. And b-12, where it works, is inside your cell. It doesn’t work in the blood, it works inside
your cell. So we want to have a way to measure the Vitamin
B-12 in the blood stream and the way we do that is through lymphocyte proliferation. There’s a good lab out there called Spectorcell. So make sure your doctor’s familiar with Spectracell
Lab and ask him to run an intra-cellular Vitamin B-12 analysis and that way you can get a better
marker, or a better determination of whether or not you have a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Now on another side note if your doctor’s
not familiar with Spectracell, there are a couple of other tests that he might be familiar
with that would also be helpful for you to ask him to run. One is a test called methylmalonic acid, okay,
and the other one is a test that most doctors are aware of these days, and that is called
homocysteine. So these are just two other ways that you
could have or you could indirectly measure whether or not Vitamin B-12 might be low. And they’re not as accurate as the Spectracell
intra-cellular analysis, but if your doctor’s not familiar with that and not capable and
set up to do that kind of testing, these are types of test that you can have him look at. So the final thing that you want to understand,
again, you want to know whether or not you’re having a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. You want to know whether these types of symptoms
are linked to this before you take medication. And what happens if you are Vitamin B-12 deficient? Well, It’s a pretty simple solution. One, eat more meat. Now if you’ve got a problem potentially with
one of these other components up here, then that needs to be further investigated, but
if you need a form of supplemental b-12, the kind of b-12 that works best for humans is
methylcobalamin. Now if you’re taking some other form, one
of the most common forms in supplements used today is a form called cyanocobalamin, and
that form is a, it’s not as easy to assimilate for humans as methylcobalamin so this would
be the ideal form of supplementation that you would want to use. And if you need a good source of methylcobalamin,
you can click the link below this video and there’s a link where you can find a good source
of methylcobalamin to supplement with. So I hope this video was helpful for you and
I hope you have a great afternoon. Dr. Osborne out and I will talk to you next
time.

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