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Thursday, September 23, 2010

2.11g Exciting New Advice on Vitamin B12

Physician's Notebooks 2  - http://physiciansnotebook.blogspot.com - See Homepage
Chapter on Vitamins Continues
2.11g: Vitamin B12
                                   Update 05 Dec. 2017
Vitamin B12, or Cyanocobalamin deficiency causes pernicious anemia, (PA), frequent in older person because of atrophic stomach with aging and loss of stomach's intrinsic factor needed for intestinal absorption of B12. The victim gradually develops pale yellowish complexion, fatigue, and, often before that, spinal cord and brain malfunction leading to muscle weakness and dementia.
   Because the liver can store B12, it takes years for deficiency to start in well-nourished person. 
B12 is not found in plant food so a vegetarian is at risk in addition to oldster and anyone with stomach disease, especially after losing part or all of stomach, as in stomach cancer or surgery to lose weight. 
Flash! Newly discovered risk for B12 deficiency is exposure to nitrous oxide (NO2, laughing gas) in patient undergoing surgery who gets it with general anesthesia, and in anesthetic gas abuser, dentist and operating room doctor, nurse or other personnel. It is due to NO2 interference with a B12 dependent enzyme that ups normal requirement for the vitamin. It can be predicted by low serum B12 blood test and prevented by taking B12 several days before inhalations of the gas. Especially an older patient contemplating surgery
   Blood test for B12 is useful for one who worries about deficiency, but it will be misleadingly high if blood is drawn within 4 weeks after taking or getting B12. Note that even a low normal level may be sign of deficiency.
   Vitamin B12 helps make an enzyme whose lack results in high homocysteine in blood that could lead to heart disease.
   Need for B12 increases unpredictably after age 60 and it coincides with lower meat and dairy intake.
   Vitamin B12, or “cyanocobalamin” or “methycobal” for injection comes in sterile 1 ml ampul of 500 microgram/ml. Its 1 ml dose is injected subcutaneously (subQ) upper outer arm or buttock with 1 ml insulin syringe and needle. Warning! The shot contains aluminum. More warning! I had been getting B12 shots but one shot irritated a nerve in my shoulder giving me forearm and hand soreness that bothered me for the year after. The injection is best given with short, subQ needle, into buttock, but better to avoid injections. The B12 also comes as 500-microgram pills. I have since stopped the injection and take 1 pill with each meal and it works well. (With complete gastric atrophy B12 injection may be the only way to give B12 because of complete lack of the stomach's intrinsic factor which will prevent intestinal absorption of the B12 pill)
   Folic acid or folate is necessary to take at same time as B12 to avoid B12 deficiency. Strict vegan eaters or over ages 65, with worry about B12 deficiency, should have blood tests for both B12 and folate. Note that borderline low normal levels of B12 blood test have been associated at times with deficiency syndrome so treat low normal as imminent risk for deficiency.
   Me, Myself: I discovered my own B12 low blood tests and a large-size red blood cell anemia in 2008. Taking a 2 or 3 times a day oral 1000 microgram B12 and 10 mg folic acid with meals reversed my anemia, improved my energy level and has upped my serum testosterone blood test with good result for my erections, orgasms and sex life at age now 84. My blood levels of folate have been up to 5 times above normal and of B12 has been 2x times above normal over the last 3 years and I have not experienced any bad effect.
                Chapter on Vitamins Continues Next. Click 2.11h New Uses for Vitamin C







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