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Vitamin B12

Get the Right Dose to Correct Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Friday, September 25, 2009 by: Kerri Knox, RN
Tags: vitamin B12, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common problem that is often overlooked, but once a doctor FINDS vitamin B 12 deficiency in a patient, it's likely that the person will STILL suffer from their symptoms even AFTER treatment because most doctors, historically, give too low of a dose to correct the symptoms that occur in vitamin B12 deficiency.

There are many pitfalls along the road to getting a diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency and the vast majority of those suffering from this problem get overlooked by western medicine. But when someone actually GETS a diagnosis, the patient is STILL likely to not benefit from supplementation because the clinician will most often not give enough of the vitamin to make a difference in how the patient feels. When a patient has vitamin B12 deficiency, doctors most often give a 'standard' dose of 1000 micrograms per day for treatment. While some people will respond to this dose and feel better, researchers believe that this dose may be WAY too low in a large subset of patients who need much higher doses in order to feel better.

"The lowest dose of oral cyanocobalamin [a form of vitamin B12]
required to normalize mild vitamin B12 deficiency is more than
200 times greater than the recommended dietary allowance"

'Cyanocobalamin Supplementation in
Older People With Vitamin B12 Deficiency'


It's rare that studies on vitamin B12 actually look at the SUBJECTIVE feelings of a patient in order to determine need for therapy; most rely on OBJECTIVE markers such as blood levels, but it seems that the more reliable and effective determination of the need for vitamin B12 therapy is sense of well-being. One study took people complaining of fatigue who had NORMAL vitamin B12 levels and gave them increasingly higher doses of vitamin B12 until they simply felt better. They then repeated the vitamin B12 levels and found that the patients with the highest vitamin B12 levels scored the best on a mental and emotional questionnaire. There are Almost No doctors who continue to INCREASE the dose of a therapy based on a patient's feelings of well-being when blood tests show normal levels, but other studies also confirm that this may be EXACTLY the way vitamin B12 deficiency SHOULD be treated.

In fact, some studies showed that it required up to 9000 micrograms per day (9mg) in order to achieve the 'maximum feeling of well-being' as reported by patients REGARDLESS of their vitamin B12 level! That's 9 times higher than the standard dose that doctors give in order to correct deficiency. But that seemingly 'megadose' of 9000 micrograms per day was used specifically for the treatment of fatigue; vitamin B12 has been used in doses up to 40 milligrams per day, that's 40,000 micrograms per day, in order to treat or to delay progression of nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. The vast majority of these studies ALSO showed that almost no one had any ill effects from such high doses, so it's undeniable that this vitamin is safe in doses much higher than the 'standard' 1000 micrograms per day.

Doctors, however, generally want to find the lowest dose that corrects the deficiency as determined by blood levels. In the case of vitamin B12 deficiency, since extremely high doses have been repeatedly shown to be safe, correcting DEFICIENCY should not be the ultimate goal, but correcting the SYMPTOMS that brought the patient into the doctor's office to begin with should be. Unfortunately, individualizing care and giving different doses to individual patients who may need more than the standard dose is not what occurs in actual practice the majority of time. This leaves tens of thousands across the nation still suffering from fatigue because the 'standard practice' in vitamin B12 deficiency is to look at laboratory testing and not the most important part of the equation- whether a patient actually feels better.

Resources:

1)http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abs...

2)http://www.thorne.com/media/chronicfatiguesy...

3)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2710019


About the author

Kerri Knox, RN is a Registered Nurse and Functional Medicine Practitioner.
With over 14 years of experience in health care, she has the unique perspective of being solidly grounded in Conventional Medicine and being well versed in Alternative Medicine.
She can help you to to find and repair the UNDERLYING CAUSES of illness using cutting edge in home lab testing that finds nutritional deficiencies, hidden infections and chemical and metal toxicities that contribute to ill health.
She can be reached through her websites at:
Easy Immune System Health.com
Side Effects Site

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