B12 / bone health

Interesting excerpts:

While these new studies were treated as ground-breaking, previous research had already established a powerful connection between B12 deficiency and osteoporosis. It’s well documented that people with untreated pernicious anemia are at high risk for osteoporosis and resulting fractures, which is not surprising because vitamin B12 is crucial to the function of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells). In one case study, a patient with Severe osteoporosis exhibited a “dramatic response” to treatment with B12 and cyclic etidronate (a bone-strengthening drug), with serial bone density measurements demonstrating a 15 percent and 17 in percent increase in the lumbar (lower back) and greater trochanter (hip) regions, respectively, and a 79 percent increase in the femoral neck region, over the two-year follow-up periodan effect significantly greater than that which would be expected with etidronate alone. In addition. the patient suffered no new fractures during the course of the study.
– could it be b12, p. 36

research on the connection between low B12 and increased risk for fall- related injuries, fractures, and osteoporosis needs to become a national priority. The evidence indicates that B12 deficiency is epidemic among seniors; that low B12 and high homocysteine are strong risk factors for osteoporosis, that B12 deficiency also leads to falls and injuries by impairing neurological function; and that B12 therapy may help stop or re- verse bone loss, and can often reverse neurological dysfunction in B12 deficient patients. Translating these research findings into a national effort to combat B12 deficiency in seniors could lead to a significant drop in the numbers of crippling or fatal falls suffered by the elderly – and an equally large drop in America’s health-care costs.

But B12 deficiency disables its older victims in still more ways. The nervous system impairment stemming from this deficiency can cause tremors, handwriting difficulties, and other symptoms severe enough to resemble the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. And, because B12 deficiency affects all of the nerves, it can also affect the nerves of the eye and lead to reduced vision or even blindness In young adults, blindness caused by B12 deficiency is so unexpected that it often leads to an accurate diagnosis. But the elderly, and especially diabetics, aren’t as lucky: If their failing eyesight stems from B12 deficiency, it’s likely to be attributed to age or diabetic eye damage. New research, while preliminary, also links B12, deficiency to one form of cataracts.
– could it be b12, p. 38

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