REVEALED: First Lady’s Strange Behavior Linked to Common Vitamin

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

Called “the hellcat” by some White House staff, Mary Todd Lincoln was like no other first lady.

History books have painted her as a woman with wild mood swings; a violent temper; a compulsive shopping habit; and obsessive fears of poverty, burglary and storms.

Not to mention her extreme vanity and habit of publicly berating her famous husband.

The cause of her bizarre and often destructive behavior has been hypothesized by historians for centuries — pitching everything from syphilis to bipolar disorder to severe “womanly” issues.

However, none of these guesses has ever been proven.

But according to Dr. John G. Sotos, a cardiologist, executive at Intel and medical consultant to the television industry, a simple vitamin deficiency is likely to blame for Mrs. Lincoln’s unusual ways.

You see, after finding his first clue in an 1852 letter, Dr. Sotos believes that the former first lady suffered from a dangerous vitamin deficiency.

--“Just about all of them”

In the letter, President Lincoln mentions that his wife was suffering from a mouth sore, which can be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. This unsuspecting tidbit led Dr. Sotos to further investigate Mrs. Lincoln’s health.

After careful evaluation of her documented mental and physical symptoms, Dr. Sotos realized that both all be explained by a condition called pernicious anemia.

Pernicious anemia starts with an autoimmune siege on the stomach, which alters the stomach’s ability to produce B12-absorbing chemicals. But it may take months or even years for the first signs of deficiency to appear once the body’s natural levels of B12 are exhausted.

And since vitamin B12 is essential for brain health and mental function, it easily explains why Mary may have suffered so greatly with mood and cognitive issues.

But B12 deficiencies can also greatly affect the body in other ways, like impairing its ability to make DNA and red blood cells, which can affect every organ in the body.

Mary Todd Lincoln. Source: ehistory.osu.edu

In his recently published article in the journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Dr. Sotos reports that complex disorders like pernicious anemia that affect many organ also come with a laundry list of symptoms and Mary had “just about all of them.”

Her mental symptoms included occasional delusions, irritability and hallucinations, despite being of clear mind most of the time.

Her physical symptoms included fatigue, fevers, headaches, swelling of the hands and face, eye issues, rapid heartbeat, weakness and pallor.

Sotos thinks Mary was genetically predisposed to the condition, but it’s also speculated that this disease may be caused by certain types of ulcers.

--A Common Cause

Today, cases of extreme pernicious anemia are rare. Common blood tests can detect the disorder early, and it can be easily treated with B12 supplementation.

Unfortunately for Mary Lincoln, she lived at time when treatment wasn’t available. And, as Sotos put it, a time “before physicians could make a diagnosis that would’ve prevented 150 years of misunderstanding about her.”

While we will never know if Mary suffered from a B12 deficiency for sure, there is one fact about vitamin B12 that is certain — you’re probably deficient in it.

Studies have shown that 40 percent of the U.S. is already vitamin B12 deficient.

This means that there’s a good chance your body could already be experiencing detrimental health effects caused by lack of B12.

But what makes it worse, it’s really hard for folks to get a healthy dose of B12 through diet alone. This is especially true for older folks, because absorbing dietary B12 gets more difficult for the body as it ages.

Not to mention some supplements won’t do the trick, either.

You see, they may contain a form of B12 called cyanocobalamin and isn’t as easily absorbed by the body as B12’s natural form, methylcobalamin.

So it’s important to look for a supplement with methylcobalamin when choosing a B12 supplement.

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

Sources

[1] Did ‘crazy’ Mary Todd Lincoln just need a shot of vitamin B-12?

[2] “What an Affliction”: Mary Todd Lincoln’s Fatal Pernicious Anemia

[3] 40% of Us are Vitamin B12 Deficient. Are you?

[4] 90% OF NORTH AMERICAN CHEESE CONTAINS THIS SECRET INGREDIENT!

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

View More Free Articles

MAILBAG! 3 Secrets to a Long Healthy Life

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, What do you think are the top 3 things one can do to live a long life? –Mary from Milford, CT Hi Mary, Thanks for your excellent question! When you asked for the TOP three, it really stumped me at first. We can do so many things to live longer...

Read This

Seasoning Scapegoat Is Falsely Blamed for Immune Issues

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, A sprinkle of THIS. A dash of THAT. If you like to cook, chances are you love seasoning your dishes to bring out their best flavors. But a study published last year has a lot of folks questioning how they’re preparing their food. Because according to the researchers, no matter...

Read This

[ALERT] Persistent Aspirin Myth Can KILL

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Honestly, I thought we’d already put this issue to bed. After all, the evidence is in. We KNOW that taking a daily aspirin is a bad idea. But the headlines just keep coming anyway… “Aspirin Reduces Breast Cancer by 20 percent!” “Aspirin Cuts Heart Attack Risk!” With incredible claims like...

Read This

Pump the Brakes on Brain Aging in 15 Minutes Flat

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, I’m going to give it to you straight. Aging is tough on your whole body. Your joints… heart… and even your youthful skin all begin to show the effects of the passage of time. But aging takes the biggest toll on your brain. Because as the years go by, you...

Read This

Delicious Diet Secret Drives Down Blood Pressure

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,  Every 90 seconds. That’s how often another woman in the United States has a heart attack. Because the reality is heart attacks don’t just happen to men. Nearly one out of two adults in the United States has high blood pressure. And heart disease is one of the biggest health risks...

Read This

Study Links Common “Forever Chemical” to THIS Killer

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Mad scientists have created some pretty crazy chemicals in the laboratory. And mad businesses have taken those toxic concoctions and unleashed them into our world. You’ve probably seen a few headlines about “forever chemicals” lurking in our environment. In fact, I’ve shared warnings about them right here in Living Well...

Read This

MAILBAG! Break the Cycle of Varicose Veins

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, “What can I do about varicose veins?” — George, 75 Huntsville, AL Dear George, I have some good news and some bad news about varicose veins. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Once the damage is done to the veins, it’s hard to reverse. But the...

Read This

The Pop Quiz Big Pharma HOPES You FAIL

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, I’ve got a little pop quiz for you today. But don’t worry, it’s only one question. Now, if you’re anything like me, you HATE to fail. The trouble is the deck is stacked against you this time. So I don’t want you to be too hard on yourself if you...

Read This

Don’t Ignore This ODD Alzheimer’s Red Flag

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, It’s a nearly universal experience. When you reach a certain age, you start to worry about your memory. Because when you’re a senior, a “simple” forgotten name or missed appointment is NEVER simple. Instead, it’s yet another reason to be anxious about whether it’s an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease....

Read This

Common Nutrient Dials DOWN Anxiety Levels

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you battle anxiety, you’re the victim of an overactive brain. But probably not how you think. You see, electrical impulses are storming all of our brains all of the time. In fact, most of the chemicals in your brain (neurotransmitters) are designed to make even MORE of these electrical...

Read This