Low vitamin B12 levels linked to autism, schizophrenia – study
Vitamin B12 deficiency, which affects up to 40% of the population, may contribute to autism, schizophrenia and a defective nervous system, research shows.
Vitamin B12 helps the body produce DNA, red blood cells, proteins, hormones and lipids (fats). It’s also important for a healthy nervous system, brain development, and energy production. A survey by the Food and Nutrition Bulletin says B12 deficiency should be a global health concern.
A recent study by pharmacology professor Richard Deth at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Florida, USA — the first to compare levels of vitamin B12 in the brain across the human lifetime — found that those affected by autism or schizophrenia had 30% lower levels of vitamin B12 than those without these conditions. It also found that levels of vitamin B12 decreased with age, regardless of having a neurological condition.
“…Levels of B12 that are too low can be detrimental…(and are) not compatible with cell survival. Similarly, lower vitamin B12 levels can have negative consequences for people of younger ages, as the brain is still developing.”
“The large deficits of (vitamin B12 in the brain) in individuals with autism and schizophrenia could help explain why patients suffering from these disorders experience neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms. These are particularly significant findings because the differences we found in brain B12 with aging, autism and schizophrenia are not seen in the blood, which is where B12 levels are usually measured,” said Deth.
Pharmacist, complimentary medicines expert and life coach, Giulia Criscuolo, says vitamin B deficiency may lead to anaemia, tiredness, heart palpitations, constipation, nerve problems, depression, memory loss, paranoia or impaired vision.
Criscuolo says vitamin B12 can only be sourced through some foods, making supplementing preferable. But research shows that only about 1% of vitamin B12 in tablets is absorbed by the body while vitamin B12 injections are intrusive. Criscuolo says vitamin B12 “oral” mouth sprays are proving to be far superior and preferable as they are user-friendly and provide 40 times greater absorption through the rich system of veins in the inner cheek and under the tongue. Criscuolo further recommends the following:
• Increase intake of foods high in vitamin B12 such as meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
• Have vitamin B12 levels checked regularly especially if over 50 or on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
• Reduce intake of alcohol.
• Try cranberry juice: it has been found to increase absorption of vitamin B12.
• Increase intake of calcium which is essential for vitamin B12 absorption.
• Supplement with BetterYou B12 Boost Oral Spray. Research by Cardiff University found that B12 oral sprays guaranteed 40 times greater absorption than tablets, capsules or drops as the vitamin is transported directly into the bloodstream.
BetterYou B12 Boost Oral Spray is available nationally at leading health stores, pharmacies and Dis-Chem. It is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.