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Common Nutritional Deficiency Can Double Your chances of developing Alzheimer's
Nearly 40 percent of all Americans are deficient in vitamin B12 and this deficiency could be doubling their chances of developing Alzheimer’s as well putting them at risk for a host of other health issues.
Many Meat eaters may assume that their chances of developing Alzheimer’s is lower because their diet is naturally high in vitamin B12-rich foods, but this is not the case. Most people with levels below the healthy range get far more than the recommended daily intake of B12 in their diets. This is because B12 deficiency is generally a result of malabsorption, not intake. Nor does age seem to be a significant factor in B12 levels as was previously thought.
Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient which plays a role in energy production, DNA synthesis, blood formation, and most importantly, the production of myelin. The myelin sheath protects the nerve endings and facilitates communication between the nerves. Inadequate B12 can lead to the break down of this nerve shield and if these levels are not brought back up to safe levels, permanent nerve and brain damage can result, impeding brain development in children and increasing the chance of developing Alzheimer’s in the elderly.
Other results of a B12 deficiency include fatigue, depression, tingling and numbness in the limbs, weakness, and a lack of mental acuity. What is thought to be dementia in the elderly is sometimes merely a vitamin B12 deficiency. As long as the vitamin deficiency is caught soon enough all of these symptoms can be reversed.
If low B12 levels are not treated in time the results can be serious and irreversible. Therefore it is recommended that everyone have their blood levels of this crucial vitamin tested. But be aware that while a vitamin B12 level above 200 pg/ml is considered to be within the normal range and may get you a clean bill of health from your doctor, you need to maintain levels above 350 if you want to avoid increasing your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. This requires a daily intake of 500 to 1000mcg per day of B12,
Since diet alone cannot guarantee the protection from Alzheimer’s and other health problems that good B12 levels offer, the only truly effective way to raise insufficient B12 levels is to supplement. The most easily absorbed type of supplemental vitamin B12 is Methylcobalamin taken in sublingual tablet, patch, or spray form. Eating foods fortified with B12 can also successfully raise B12 levels.
While there are many factors that can determine a person’s odds of developing Alzheimer’s, it would be foolish to ignore one that is so easily mitigated. Get your B12 levels tested today!