Recently, research studies reveal the possible link between low brain levels of B12 to diseases like autism, dementia, and schizophrenia. PLOS One released the results of one study recently which includes a variety of age groups (babies to elderly). Interestingly, the study also found brain levels and blood levels of B12 differ which can adversely affect the function of the brain.
The vitamin B12 plays an important role in the body, including maintaining a healthy nervous system. The vitamin is also crucial to helping to create red blood cells which deliver oxygen throughout the body. Growth and development are also affected by the amount of B12 metabolized in the body. Deficiencies of B12 in the brain can also lead to fatigue, memory challenges, and depression.
During the research study, the brains of sixty individuals were analyzed after cessation. Twelve of the individuals were autistic, and nine of them diagnosed with schizophrenia. The B12 brain levels in the elderly were ten times lower than the young. This finding reflects a gradual decline in B12 over the years of life.
The autistic and schizophrenic patients held levels of B12 in the brain one-third lower as compared to others their age. Autistic children who were under the age of ten showed levels to be that of a 60-year-old. Obviously, lower levels of B12 in the brain might have detrimental effects on the nervous system.
PLOS One also suggests B12 is needed during specific times of growth including fetal development, early childhood, and adolescence. Until further research studies are conducted, eating foods high in vitamin B12 may provide needed protection of the nervous system.
Currently, debates exist when looking at supplemental treatment strategies for children with autism. According to the Journal of Academy of Nutrition & Dietetic, few children benefit from this management option and overdosing is possible. Additional research studies are needed in the field to determine further benefits to children.
For more information on Dr. Colbert’s Enhanced Multivitamin which contains methylcobalamin, the active form of B12, please click here.