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Vitamin B12 Prevents Alzheimer's, Depression

Published on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
by Healthy News Service

Mental problems are on the rise, but they may be preventable by high dose supplementation of vitamin B12, says Joseph G. Hattersley in an article recently published in Nexus Magazine. Alzheimer's disease and other problems such as depression, paranoid psychosis and bipolar disease may be caused by a common nutritional deficiency and they seem open to correction when the vitamin is supplied in dosages much higher than the minimal amount of one or two micrograms recommended for daily intake.

Recent research has called for an increase of the daily intake of vitamin B12 to 6 micrograms, but in the case of more serious and sometimes systemic deficiencies that lead to mental manifestations, much larger doses are needed to set matters right. There is no danger of overdosing however, because the vitamin is not toxic even at doses thousands of times higher than the minimal amounts recommended to prevent the more visible deficiencies.

Hattersley has titled his article "At-home prevention and reversal of Alzheimer's dementia and six other mental illnesses". He argues that at the bottom of Alzheimer's and other illnesses is really a nutritional deficiency.

To be clear about that concept of mental illness, I would like to cite Bruce E. Levine, a clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America's Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy. In a recent article in the Huffington Post, Levine argues that it is not helpful to label depression as an illness.

Labeling depression as a disease gives some people relief, but such labeling creates grief for others. I have met many people who have been failed by antidepressants and electroshock. They talk about the adverse physiological effects of their treatments, but they also talk about something else. By becoming compliant patients to a medical authority, they describe losing control over their lives. Depression is an experience of helplessness and hopelessness, and for these people, accepting depression as a disease makes them feel even more helpless and hopeless.

Instead of labeling depression as weakness or illness, we might better decrease depression by understanding it as a normal, albeit painful, human reaction. When we label a part of ourselves as either "weak" or "sick," we alienate ourselves from a part of who we are, and this can create even more pain. In contrast, when we accept the whole of our humanity, we are more likely to be freed up to resolve and heal the source of our pains.

That said, let's see how a host of normal conditions of life including what has been labeled Alzheimer's dementia may respond to well targeted supplementation of a vital nutrient...



It is interesting to consider what proportion of Alzheimer's dementia (AD) may result from under-nutrition, especially when it seems that an easy, low-cost, perfectly safe nutritional way exists that may allow people to avoid that misery of miseries which many consider worse than death. Some people might say, "That's too good to be true!" However, an at-home nutritional program using a high dosage of vitamin B12 may prevent and virtually eliminate AD. An early launch of the treatment soon after first warning symptoms start could even turn off the process.

Confusion, difficulty concentrating, loss of memory, marked changes in personality that can lead to outbursts of violence, hallucinations, wandering away and early death all characterise Alzheimer's dementia.

An estimated 2.3 million Americans now have AD. Prevalence doubles every five years after the age of 60, increasing from one per cent among those 60 to 64 years old up to 40 per cent of those aged 85 years and older.

Nursing home care costs about US$47,000 per AD patient annually and this figure is rising steadily, putting a huge burden on the health care system. The disease is also terrible for the patients' caregivers. In what experts are calling "a looming public health disaster", statistics suggest there will be between five and seven million Alzheimer's patients in the USA over the next 10 years.

Read the whole article on Nexus Magazine's site

See also:

Alzheimer drugs don't delay dementia onset: study
Giving Alzheimer's drugs to people with early memory problems does not seem to delay the onset of the disease, researchers said on Tuesday. Three main drugs -- Aricept, or donepezil; Exelon, or rivastigmine; and Reminyl, or galantamine -- are currently approved for use in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease.

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