Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part I

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What do vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common?  More than you realize.  For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.


What are excitotoxins?

Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills defines excitotoxins as amino acids “that react with specialized receptors in the brain in such a way as to lead to destruction of certain types of brain cells.” Because they damage your nerve cells, excitotoxins are also referred to as neurotoxins.

Damaged nerve cells are one of the many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Homocysteine, for example, is an excitotoxin.  Too much homocysteine causes your brain’s nerve cells to malfunction, breaking down the myelin sheathe and the blood-brain barrier (BBB), letting in free radicals, and potentially killing brain cells that can never be replicated.

Elevated homocysteine levels are also one of many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Brain Lesions?

Common excitotoxins

The following amino acids are classified as excitotoxins (neurotoxins):

  • Homocysteine (L-cysteine)
  • Glutamate (found in MSG and hydrolyzed vegetable protein)
  • Aspartate (found in aspartame)
  • Beta amyloid

Symptoms of excitotoxicity

The following symptoms may indicate nerve damage caused by excitotoxins:

  • Chronic headaches (migraines)
  • Painful tingling and numbness in your hands and feet (vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Muscular pain in specific sensitive spots (fibromyalgia)
  • Unexplained constant tiredness, despite sleeping well and not overexerting oneself physically (chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Loss of muscular control (multiple sclerosis)

Coming in Part II, find out which illnesses are linked with excitotoxins, and what you can do to prevent nerve damage…

Please tell us…

  • Do you have one or more of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as described?
  • Do you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and other comorbid illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
  • How likely are you to change your diet and increase your vitamin B12, now that you know about the risk factors involved?
  • Please share your comments!

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Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins

Neurotransmitters in cerebrospinal fluid reflect pathological activity-PubMed, NCBI

Increased concentrations of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome- PubMed, NCBI

Cytochemical detection of homocysteine in pernicious anemia and in chronic erythremic myelosis- PubMed, NCBI