Folate fortifications have been mandated for years by the FDA to reduce neural tube congenital defects, but has our plan backlashed? Increasingly, vitamin B12 deficiency is on the rise, causing severe neurological impairments, mental distress, and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Many scientists believe that it is no coincidence that this nation is seeing an increase in vitamin B12 deficiency among middle-aged individuals…
Though no longer deemed a fatal disease, there have been numerous reports of people experiencing extreme fatigue, memory loss, chronic pain, heart palpitations, and muscular deterioration…
All from pernicious anemia, a severe form of vitamin B12 deficiency that physicians thought they had eradicated long ago.
Folic acid and vitamin B12
Folic acid and vitamin B12 have a symbiotic relationship with each other; they work together to support DNA synthesis and sustain normal neurological functioning.
Today, doctors understand that the healthy natural bond between vitamin B12 and folate is reliant upon a correct balance between the two, and that too much folate in your blood may increase your risk for developing severe neurological problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.
Did the FDA bring back pernicious anemia?
Scientists are concerned that the health mandate enforced by the FDA requiring folic acid supplements in all breakfast cereals and other grain products may have translated into a growing epidemic of undiagnosed depletion of vitamin B12, a nutrient critical for survival.
In 2007, a study focusing on elderly individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency noted a direct correlation with high serum folate levels and cognitive impairment resulting from pernicious anemia.
Numerous other studies have been conducted which arrived at the same conclusion- that while folic acid supplementation is healthy and recommended for people with normal levels of vitamin B12, for people who are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, it can be disastrous.
Consider that folic acid is a standard nutrient included in prenatal vitamins. If you have normal levels of vitamin B12, then taking folate is important for reducing your chances for giving birth to a child with severe neurological disorders.
But if you are a pregnant with undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency, increased levels of folate in your blood may exacerbate your condition, accelerating the already plummeting levels of vitamin B12, resulting in potential serious nerve damage to you and your baby.
Coming up…How to find out if you’re at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, and what you can do about it.
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Like this? Read more:
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Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid- What’s the Connection?
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Are We Missing Vitamin B12 Deficiency in the Primary Care Setting?
In vitamin B12 deficiency, higher serum folate is associated with increased total homocysteine and methylmalonic acid concentrations.
Folate and vitamin B-12 status in relation to anemia, macrocytosis, and cognitive impairment in older Americans in the age of folic acid fortification
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