In a piece she wrote for The Epoch Times, Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) founding president Sally Fallon Morell unpacked the findings of a 2015 case report published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine (IJPM) concerning vitamin B12 deficiency and neuropsychological disorders.
In that report, a 13-year-old boy from southern India who was following a traditional lacto-vegetarian diet suddenly stopped talking while exhibiting "rigidity, immobility, staring look, disturbed sleep, ideas of worthlessness and hopelessness, aimless wandering, and guilt and suicidal ideas."
Manifesting many common symptoms associated with autism, the boy was placed on an ever-evolving cocktail of drugs after being diagnosed with "acute schizophrenia-like psychotic disorder." He was given:
• Lorazepam, a drug used to treat anxiety disorders
• Olanzapine, an antipsychotic drug
• Sertraline, an antidepressant drug more commonly known as Zoloft
• Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic drug
When those four strong drugs ultimately failed the body, resulting in him becoming hyper with "suspiciousness, hearing voices, over-talkativeness, over-cheerfulness, inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, increased appetite, increased pleasurable activities, and disruptive socio-education," his diagnosis was revised to "schizoaffective disorder, manic type" and his Zoloft was replaced with divalproate sodium, a drug used to treat seizures.
After the boy's symptoms worsened even more, he returned for yet a sixth drug: lithium carbonate, a drug used to treat bipolar disorder.
(Related: Did you know that vitamin B12 inhibits a key enzyme responsible for causing Parkinson's disease?)
Nothing was working until finally the boy was tested for vitamin B12 levels, revealing that he was grossly deficient at only 112 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) – the normal B12 range is between 180-914 ng/mL, with 180 ng/mL being associated with the most severe manifestation of B12 deficiency, known as pernicious anemia.
Even B12 levels of 500-550 ng/mL is considered in Japan and some European countries to be associated with psychological and behavioral manifestations such as dementia and memory loss.
After the boy was given several injections of vitamin B12, lo and behold his symptoms improved and his diagnosis was revised to "schizoaffective disorder secondary to Cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency" – problem solved.
It was a very simple solution – and a safe one, at that – and yet it took multiple rounds of erroneous drugging and testing before Indian doctors were able to figure out that the boy simply lacked a necessary vitamin crucial to his brain health and mental abilities.
"B12 deficiency is associated with a wide range of psychological disorders – depression, memory loss, Alzheimer's, anxiety, irrational or chronic anger, violent behavior, and other psychological problems," Morell notes.
"And vitamin B12 therapy has proved useful for a range of conditions deemed neurological – vision problems, loss of hearing and tinnitus, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, alcoholism, impotence, incontinence, neuralgia, combat fatigue, and lack of balance or abnormal gait."
"In addition, low B12 is indicated in a range of other diseases – osteoporosis, asthma, skin conditions including psoriasis, diabetes, glaucoma, infertility, and of course anemia."
Among the best natural sources of vitamin B12 are meat and raw milk, as well as liver and mollusks. Some plant foods such as soy, mushrooms, and spirulina, also contain B12, but in a form that can actually worsen B12 deficiency due to the presence of B12 analogs called cobamides that can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.
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