Vitamin B12 as a Medicine

 

Vitamin B12 as a Medicine

Vitamin B12 is used effectively in the treatment of numerous diseases. The active cobalamin forms haven proven very effective against a range of illnesses.

Vitamin B12 – a Versatile Vitamin

Vitamin B12 is involved in a number of basic metabolic processes and therefore implicates general health in many ways. Some of the vital functions that vitamin B12 is necessary for include blood formation, DNA replication, cell division, gene and enzyme regulation, synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones and energy production.

Recent research suggests that in addition to these well-known vitamin B12 uses, there could be many others that have not yet been established. Vitamin B12 has been shown to play a key role in basic anti-inflammatory processes, all of which has only recently been fully researched. It is likely that there are many more B12 uses that are waiting to be discovered.1

The Effect of Vitamin B12 on Disease

Despite the diversity of effects B12 has on the body and health, there are an equal measure of disorders and diseases that can prohibit vitamin B12 absorption and metabolism. Most commonly these are disorders affecting the gastrointestinal mucosa, which can dramatically impede B12 uptake. Many diseases can lead to a B12 deficiency, which causes a variety of symptoms and is increasingly detrimental to overall heath.

Sometimes it not the medical condition itself that impairs the absorption of B12 but rather aggressive drugs frequently prescribed as treatment. These can damage the gastrointestinal tract, making absorption much less likely.

Another factor to consider is that both physical and emotional stress increase the body’s need for vitamin B12: a by-product of nearly all illness.

Vitamin B12 as a Medicinal Aid

For the reasons mentioned above vitamin B12 is often used today to accompany the treatment of diseases. As well as compensating for vitamin B12 that is negatively impacted through various medical conditions, cobalamin has been shown to have a therapeutic affect on a variety of diseases. Why and how this works is not yet fully understood and it is only specific natural and active cobalamin forms that have a healing effect.

The use of vitamin B12 as a therapeutic agent to treat illnesses other than B12 deficiency is a relatively new concept. The idea was borne out of a type of medicine that is increasingly gaining recognition known as orthomolecular medicine. The belief is that almost all diseases can be a result of metabolic disorders and an imbalance of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The body is a complex and carefully balanced system of biochemical reactions and interactions, where even small disturbances can set off chain reactions which may then manifest disease.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Disease Case Studies

The orthomolecular perspective presents new treatment options, but also requires experienced therapists and practitioners. Surprisingly until now biochemists have given medicine little attention and likewise doctors and medics have hardly engaged with biochemistry, meaning that even experienced physicians are unlikely to know much about the specifics of biochemical correlations.

 This approach has shown dramatically successful results. Orthomolecular physician Dr. reported that a patient who had been taking psychoactive drugs for 20 years and was even treated in psychiatric institutions, until it eventually transpired that the patient was simply suffering vitamin deficiencies. Upon this discovery his previous medicinal treatment ended and his symptoms disappeared.2

Even illnesses known to result from vitamin B12 deficiency are frequently misdiagnosed. This was the case for 33 year old Roy R. from Berlin. For years Mr. R. had suffered from neuralgia (nerve pain) running from his back down to his legs as well as having a medical history of stomach disorders. After being examined by an internist he was referred to an orthopaedic physician, who diagnosed him with a herniated disc and recommended an operation. Mr R. was prepared to go ahead with the operation because he was suffering a lot of pain, but decided to seek a second opinion in the meantime. A blood test revealed a severe vitamin B12 deficiency caused by a stomach lining disorder. Due to this Mr. R. would only be able to obtain very small amounts of B12 from his diet alone. After two vitamin B12 injections his symptoms were gone. He now takes regular B12 shots every 2-4 weeks and is also receiving treatment for his stomach problems.

There are countless case studies with the same story, showing how poorly recognised and treated vitamin deficiencies are.

The use of Vitamin B12 to cure Disease

In many cases, a combination of micronutrients are required to treat illness effectively. Many deficiencies are not identifiable simply through a blood test alone, so it is advisable to consult a professional. 

Below is an overview of diseases that vitamin B12 has shown to be an effective treatment for. In these treatments B12 is used in conjunction with other micronutrients. The active ingredient used has also been specified.

The information is based on studies and correspondence with naturopaths and doctors and so does not claim generality or completeness. In many cases it is missing clinical trials, and so is supported by individual cases and the practical experience of professionals. The list is intended to provide an overview of experiences gained so far, but in any case a consultation with a therapist to determine if a vitamin deficiency exists is always advised.

Vitamin B12 and Diseases

Vitamin B12 is used for treatment and prevention of the following diseases listed below.

AIDS3-5

x

x

x

Alzheimer’s, dementia6

x

x

x

Anemia

x

x

x

Anorexia7

x

 x

  

Chronic fatigue8-11

x

x

x

Bowel disease

x

x

x

Depression12-15

x

x

Fibromyalgia9,10

x

x

x

Gastritis und helicobacter pylori16,17

x

x

x

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

x

x

x

Skin conditions (Neurodermatitis, psoriasis)18

x

Hepatitis19

x

x

x

x

Shingles (herpes zoster)

Cardiovascular problems

x

x

x

Homocysteine

x

x

x

Cancer (all types)20,21

x

x

x

Injury from sports

x

x

x

x

Mitochondria (damage)

x

Chron’s disease

x

x

Multiple sclerosis22

x

Neuralgia (nerve pain), nerve disease (peripheral neuropathy)23-25

x

x

x

Nitrosative stress

x

x

Convalescence (Recovery after illness)

x

x

x

Back pain26

x

x

x

x

Sleep disorders27

x

Stress, severe (physical and emotional)

x

x

x

Trigeminal neuralgia28,29

x

x

Typically, vitamin B12 is administered in shot form as an initial dose. The frequency and dosage is differs per patient. Initial therapy is usually involves a B12 injection of 1000-1500 μg 1 – 3 times a week. After several weeks when symptoms have improved the frequency and dosage can gradually begin to be reduced. In the final stage the injections can be replaced, when appropriate, with an oral supplement of methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin. Capsules are recommended here, as they tend to contain less additives.

Vitamin B12 Interaction With Other Drugs

Various medications interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12.30 Below such drugs are specified, however the exact interactions are not known. There may exist varying degrees of interaction.

In each case, an additional intake of 250-1000μg is recommended.

  • Alcohol/drugs
  • Contraceptive pill
  • Antibiotics
  • Antiepileptics
  • Antidepressants
  • High blood pressure medicines
  • Carbamazepine
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Cimetidine
  • Colchicine
  • Colestipol
  • Colestyramin
  • Clofibrate
  • Fluoxetine
  • H2(acid) blocker
  • Laughing gas
  • Lansoprazole
  • Metformin
  • Neomycin
  • Omeprazole
  • Pemetrexed
  • Phenytoin
  • Primidone
  • Proton-pumpen inhibitor (PPIs)
  • Psychoactive drugs
  • Ranitidine
  • X-rays
  • Stavudine
  • Tetracycline
  • Birth control (oral)
  • Zivuduvin

Sources

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30 Nach: Uwe Gröber: Mikronährstoffe. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft. 2011




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