Vitamin Linked to Dementia, Schizophrenia and Autism
- Discover why blood tests may not always tell you what’s going on in your brain
- New research finds this common nutrient to be vital for brain health throughout the course of life. Find out more…
- Plus, the best ways to boost your levels!
Dear Living Well Daily,
Recently, new research has found that the brains of folks with dementia, schizophrenia and autism have a common link.
And it’s not a rare genetic marker or complex brain structure discovered by a fancy scan (well, not in the research we are talking about here, anyway)…
No, this connection is pretty straightforward — it’s a vitamin B-12 deficiency. And it was discovered in a groundbreaking new study that revealed some astonishing truths about the way B-12 works in our bodies, particularly our brains.
You see, this study found that blood levels of B-12 don’t always match brain levels of B-12. This, coupled with the fact that brain levels of B-12 decline with age, could be the cause of these neurological disorders.
The first-of-its-kind study done at Nova Southeastern University was published in the journal PLOS ONE and it compares the levels of vitamin B-12 in human brains across a life span.
The findings suggest that poor uptake of vitamin B-12 from the blood to the brain could be related to certain neurological diseases like dementia, schizophrenia and autism.
The study, led by professor of pharmacology Richard Deth, Ph.D., examined the brains of over 60 deceased people with ages ranging from fetus to 80 years. Of these 60, nine had autism and 12 had schizophrenia.
The researchers found that vitamin B-12 levels were 10 times lower in the brains of the oldest subjects compared with those of the youngest. This reflects the natural and gradual decline that occurs with aging, which can also play a role in the onset of dementia.
Next, they found that the B-12 levels in the brains of both adults with schizophrenia and children with autism were about one-third of those found in people of the same age who did not have these neurological conditions. The schizophrenics were ages 36–49, yet their B-12 levels reflected those of a 72-year-old brain. The autistic children were all under the age of 10, but their B-12 levels reflected those of someone in their fifties.
According to Deth, low levels of B-12 may be detrimental because it can hinder the brain’s ability to create significant neural connections. This means, without a healthy level of B-12, your brain activity may malfunction.
Live Well With B-12
While this study doesn’t prove that B-12 deficiency is a direct cause of autism, schizophrenia or dementia, it certainly opens the door for more research on this link. These findings also support scientists who believe the human brain uses vitamin B-12 to control gene expression and spur neurological development throughout the course of human life — from fetus through old age.
In addition, both autism and schizophrenia are associated with oxidative stress, which is also linked to aging. The researchers think oxidative stress could play a role in the decreased B-12 levels in the brain.
As of now, there isn’t a way to test your brain levels of B-12. That’s why it’s important to regularly eat foods with high levels of B-12. These include red meats, cheeses and eggs.
If you’re unsure if your diet is supplying you with the right amount of B-12, supplementation is another way to ensure your intake.
Just be sure to purchase supplements that contain the methylcobalamin form of B-12. It’s the most active in the body and is the same type of B-12 measured in the study. Plus, it’s best to get the sublingual tablets verses capsules. This means the B-12 is absorbed directly in the mouth and doesn’t depend on the stomach for digestion.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily
 Decreased Brain Levels of Vitamin B12 in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia
 Low B12 may be linked to autism, dementia, schizophrenia
 Neuropsychology of vitamin B12 deficiency in elderly dementia patients and control subjects.
 Vitamin B12, Vitamins, Autism, Schizophrenia
 Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants
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
NEW Medicinal Mushroom Benefit UNCOVERED
I’m a big fan of medicinal mushrooms. Almost everyone has eaten a standard mushroom on a pizza or in a spaghetti sauce, of course. But most folks have yet to experience medical mushrooms’ power to improve our health. Medicinal mushrooms are already used to treat heart, liver, and brain conditions. They can boost the immune...
[SENIORS] Cellular GLITCH Discovered?!
Aging isn’t for sissies, that’s for sure. But hey, I always remind myself the alternative is FAR worse! Besides, when you sit back and take stock, you’ll realize that a life well lived – like your own – is something to be proud of. But those accomplishments, unfortunately, don’t reduce your risk of suffering the...
Overlooked Diabetes Risk Drives Up Blood Sugar
If you’re concerned about diabetes, you’ve probably done your research. You likely focused on all the common problem areas to ward off rising blood sugar: the grocery store… the gym… and the bathroom scale. And those ARE all great places to start! Eating better, exercising, and losing weight can go a long way toward bringing your...
Boredom BUSTING Hack Keeps You Sane AND Healthy
This time of year, I start to feel a little stir-crazy. Cabin fever sets in as I tire of the cold and snow. And I start thinking about the warmer weather that’s right around the corner (but still feels SO far away). You see, I enjoy walking, hiking, and running outside. It’s good for both...
Loneliness Linked to THIS Startling Side Effect
Before the pandemic, we didn’t talk much about being lonely. But when the virus locked us down in our homes, the issue of isolation could no longer be ignored. Some of us were experiencing that kind of loneliness for the first time. But the truth is social isolation has ALWAYS been a common problem for...
MAILBAG: Ease Prostate Problems NATURALLY
“Are there any natural solutions for an enlarged prostate?” -Mike from Summerville, South Carolina Hi Mike, There are many things you can do to improve your prostate health. Eating better is the first step. This means loading up on nutritious foods, including plenty of fresh organic vegetables and lean meats. (And yes, that DOES mean...
Ditch Depression WITHOUT Drugs
You think that when you reach “your golden years,” you won’t have much to worry about anymore. After all, many of life’s major stressors, like work, kids, and relationships, are pretty much settled by the time you hit your sixties. So why the heck are we all so darned depressed then?! According to a recent...
The Ovarian Cancer Risk You NEVER Saw Coming
Cancer research is nothing new. In fact, we’ve been studying this killer since the 1800s. Yet despite all that investigating, there’s still so much we DON’T know. That’s why each time we reach a new milestone in our understanding of cancer, it should be celebrated. And a recent study has helped us make another large...
Weird Supermarket Secret BEATS Sunburn
In the winter, we tend to ignore the importance of protecting our skin from the sun’s powerful rays. But where I live, in Colorado, I see many folks come down from the ski areas with “raccoon eyes.” This happens when skiers’ faces burn, but the areas around their eyes remain pale because they wear goggles....
[REVEALED]: Bizarre Link Between Shampoo and Diabetes?!
If I were to ask you what you think the risk of getting diabetes from your shampoo is, you’d probably do two things: Laugh Go looking for another doctor And to be honest, I wouldn’t blame you. After all, connecting shampooing your hair to blood sugar levels seems absurd. But not so fast. The disturbing...