Digital News Report – On today’s ‘Dr. Oz Show’ there was an indepth discussion on B12 deficiency symptoms and causes. Later on, there was a discussion of ways to reduce the duration of the common cold and what over-the-counter medicines to take for common cold symptoms.
B12 Deficiency Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Dr. Oz said that if you are feeling exhausted, forgetful, or depressed you might have a vitamin B12 deficiency. He said that some experts have estimated that up to 40 percent of the US population is lacking this important nutrient. Around 47 million Americans are estimated to be B12 vitamin deficient. A big problem with vitamin B12 deficiency, explains Dr. Oz, is that the symptoms of can mimic other diseases.
The audience members were tested for vitamin B12 deficiency, and one-third of them had low levels of vitamin B12.
Kate Geagan, a Registered Dietitian was a guest on the TV show today and was joined with David Katz, MD., a Director & Co-Founder of Yale Prevention Research Center. The two experts shared about the causes, symptoms, and treatments available for B12 deficiency.
Geagan said that a conservative estimates of B12 deficiency is around 15 percent with the high estimate of being around 40 percent. She said that we should be concerned because a B12 deficiency has irreversible nerve damage if it is not treated soon enough.
Dr. Katz explained that B12 is needed for making red blood cells. The vitamin is needed for building the insulation of the nerve cells and is vital for nerve cell function. He added that we could not make DNA if there is a B12 deficiency. If you cannot make DNA correctly, you literally are aging faster.
Dr. Katz said that we are an aging society and there is a higher risk for B12 deficiency as we age. Another problem is that we eat a more highly processed diet that could lack the vitamin. Some medications can interfere with vitamin B12 absorption. Dr. Katz added that seafood is a good source of B12.
Dr. Oz said to get a blood test but you also have to consider the symptoms. He had five questions to ask yourself regarding symptoms of B12 deficiency.
If you answered yes to some of the questions, they might be signs of a B12 deficiency. There are several reasons for Dr. Oz said the first reason is that medication could cause B12 deficiency.
Dr. Katz explained that aspirin, heartburn medicines, and metformin could interfere with B12 vitamin absorption. Aspirin could irritate the stomach lining which could prevent B12 absorption. The Proton Pump Inhibitors that are used for treating heartburn could prevent stomach acid, which could interfere with absorption of vitamin B12. Metformin is a prescription medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes, and this has been associated with B12 deficiency explained Dr. Katz. He also said that the medicine prescribed by the doctor should be continued. If there is concern for a B12 deficiency discuss this with your medical doctor, but continue to take your medications.
Another problem is that folic acid can mask a B12 vitamin deficiency. Dr. Oz explains that B12 and folic acid work together. However, if you have enough folic acid, it can mask a B12 deficiency and it would not show up on a blood test. Therefore, it is possible to have B12 deficiency that could progress to the level of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease warned Dr. Oz. Geagan added that the natural sources of folic acid are OK; it is only the fortified sources of folic acid that cause the masking of B12 deficiency problem.
B12 absorption can decline as we age. The cells in our stomach change as we age, and we do not create as much stomach acid explains Geagan. If you do not have enough stomach-acid juices, it lowers B12 absorption. Geagan said that around 30 percent of people over 50 do not secrete enough stomach acid to get acquire adequate vitamin B12 from their regular diet.
Geagan said that meat sources and seafood are the best ways to get vitamin B12. Eggs and milk can also provide the vitamin. If you cut back on the animal proteins, you might put yourself into a deficiency cautions the dietitian.
Dr. Katz said that excessive alcohol consumption could damage the stomach increasing the risk for B12 deficiency. Moderate alcohol consumption is OK as far as B12 is concerned. Over drinkers tend to eat poorly he said, which could lead to a lack of this vitamin.
Treatments for B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 Supplements
Geagan said to take sublingual B12 vitamin supplement that dissolves under the tongue; it is her favorite. Most people only need to take 25 MCG daily. However, she said that if deficient taking 1000 mcg daily may be needed. Dr. Oz said that B12 shots were what doctors offered before. Geagan said that you do not need a prescription and it is less expensive if you take supplements versus the B12 shots. If a person has a deficiency, a B12 shot could be helpful she added, because it bypasses the stomach digestion issues.
Foods High in Vitamin B12
Fortified foods can be good explained Geagan. When B12 is naturally occurring the food nutrition label does not have to account for it said Geagan. She suggests eating a breakfast of whole grain breakfast cereal with 25 percent fortified vitamin B12 and add milk to meet the daily goals. Another breakfast option is to make a parfait by combining 1-cup of low-fat yogurt, 1 tsp honey, ½ cup of sliced berry, and 1 cup fortified breakfast cereal.
Dr. Oz questioned if the meat that is served today has the same amount of B12 as the in previous years. Geagan said that when the animals graze the B12 is created. Part of the problem is that the non-grass feed beef may have been given antibiotics that could kill the bacteria in the cow’s stomach it may not be making the B12 vitamin. She said that the B12 levels could be different. She suggested Bison or extra lean beef. Geagan said that a 3 ounce serving of grass feed bison meat can give 35 percent of daily value of B12 for the day and said that it is low in fat too.
Seafood is a good source of B12 vitamins. Geagan said that 3 ounces of clams provides 500 percent of the daily value of B12. Sardines, grilled salmon are also good sources of B12.
Cold Prevention and Homeopathic Remedies
Doctor Oz suggested a number of ways to help prevent or treat a sore throat with homeopathic remedies. Dr. Oz reminds viewers that a cold can lasts around a week to ten days.
Over-the-Counter Cold Medicines for Symptom Relief
Women’s Health Magazine’s medical contributing editor, Keri Peterson MD., shared about what types of over-the-counter medicines to take with the common cold for different symptoms.
Stuffy nose – Dr. Peterson said that the best thing is saline spray, but look for purified water and sodium chloride as the ingredients.
Postnasal Drip – Take antihistamines of the older type she explained and cautioned that they do cause drowsiness so do not drive a car. The newer antihistamines only work for allergies she explained.
Sore Throat – Take Ibuprofen 200 mg to help treat the sore throat, by reducing inflammation in the throat.
Cough – For a dry cough, take a cough suppressant. It will have DM on the label. Dr. Petersen also said to get one that lasts 12 hours versus 4 hours. If you have a wet cough, get an expectorant to thin out and loosen the congestion explain Dr. Peterson. In addition, she suggests drinking a full glass of water when taking the expectorant to help loosen the congestion. She added that sometimes cough medicines would come combined together.
Always to make sure to consult with a medical professional with any health concerns or before taking any supplements.
By: Robert Williams