Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘vitamin B12

Interesting Information: Vitamin B12 Deficiency

with 2 comments

Interesting Information:  December 8, 2013

Vitamin B12 Deficiency


My father’s body stopped being able to use the B12 vitamin in his later years–which is a malabsorption issue.

He got B12 shots, but he slipped into dementia (not Alzheimers) anyway a few years later.

The Spring 2013 issue of The Weston A. Price Foundation’s journal Wise Traditions, Nutrition and Behavior, discusses at length the connections between human violence and other behavioral issues and the lack of nutrients–vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and so forth.

Sylvia Onusic, PhD. CNS, LDN, in “Violent Behavior:  A Solution in Plain Sight” (Wise Traditions, Spring 2013) discusses the lack of B12.

Here’s the link:  http://www.westonaprice.org/environmental-toxins/violent-behavior-a-solution-in-plain-sight

Here’s what Onusic said about the lack of B12:

Vitamin B12 deficiency has a well-known correlation with mental disorders, including irrational anger.  A higher incidence of low B12 is found in mental patients than in the general population.  Deficiencies cause mental symptoms ranging from poor concentration, depression and severe agitation to hallucinations [citation here].  Deficiencies are caused by pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition; they are also found in vegetarians and vegans, those with low animal protein intake, and individuals with leaky gut.  Drugs including anesthetics can deplete B12 [citation here].

My dad, as I said above, had some sort of malabsorption going on.  He was thin as a rail though my mother, a great cook, fed him very well.  He took a boat load of drugs for allergies and asthma.  (We know now that most food allergies and asthma can be associated with foods and an impaired immune system–not to mention all the chemicals washing over our world these days.  My dad lived across the road from an agricultural field that held skull-and-crossbones signs at its four corners.)  He probably had leaky gut…

Anyway, this article is interesting…

And gives us a lot of information to contemplate.



Turkey Tracks: Vitamin B12 and My Favorite Dinner

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  August 25, 2011

Vitamin B12 and My Favorite Dinner

Without a doubt, this dinner is my favorite:  Grilled STEAK, fresh corn on the cob, a big salad, and a piece of dark chocolate with caramel crunch and sea salt.

I am my father’s daughter.

Only, my father took many drugs for allergies and asthma.  Also, he had a sweet tooth, which did not help with his gut flora and fauna.  He probably had an overgrowth of yeasts in this gut.  And, as he aged, he, like many, started having trouble with stomach acid–so he couldn’t digest his food well.  I remember him going around with Tums all the time.  BUT, the problem more often is LOW stomach acid, not the reverse.  (Keep hydrochloric acid–HCL–with pepsin on hand for when you have stomach rumbles and acid reflux.)  And when that happens, the body struggles to process food.  The gut becomes damaged, so one starts experiencing malabsorption, which leads to malnutrition.  My mother used to say “I feed him really well, and he eats, but he’s just getting thinner and thinner.”

Here’s a quote from “Could It Be Vitamin B12?,” by Sally M. Pacholok and Jeffrey J. Stuart, in the Sept/Oct issue of WELL BEING JOURNAL, pages 16-20:

“A far more common cause of B12 deficiency, especially in people over fifty, is a condition called atrophic gastritis, an inflammation and deterioration of the stomach lining.  Atrophic gastritis reduces the secretion of the stomach acid that is needed to separate vitamin B12 from protein–a problem often made worse by proton-pump inhibitors and antacids or other medications.  In addition, older people have smaller numbers of the cells that produce intrinsic factor” (18).  (Intrinsic factor is a protein produced in the stomach that is necessary to process B12.)

My dad started getting vitamin B shots, but the body can’t utilize B12 if other ingredients, like intrinsic factor,  are not also in place.  It’s a really complicated and delicate balance.  A lack of vitamin B12, in particular, causes dementia, which slipped up on my dad gradually.  He died not knowing who we were or who he was.

A really strong source of B12 is red meat.  Liver has especially high levels.  But you can also get some from poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.  Bi-valves apparently have high levels of B12 (clams, mussels, oysters).  B12 is  produced in the guts of animals, so you cannot get it from plants.  If you want to read more, here’s an article from the Weston A. Price Foundation web site on B12:    http://www.westonaprice.org/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-b12.

So, the corn on my plate came from Hope’s Edge CSA.  It’s such a treat when it comes in every year.  And, doesn’t it look pretty this year?  The lettuce, cukes, broccoli, onions, and beans came from our garden.  (I often put leftover veggies on the next day’s salad.)  Our lettuce, as the summer has been cool, has just lasted and lasted.  The carrots, beets, and tomatoes came from Hope’s Edge.  The salad dressing is homemade–good olive oil, some mustard, some fresh garlic, some fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar.  The iced drink is Kombucha, a fermented fruity tea drink which is great to sip before eating as it starts activating digestive juices.  The chocolate is Fair Trade.  And the milk is, of course, REAL.

It was a perfect summer meal!


In a small bowl, crush a clove of garlic with a fork.  If you add some salt, you can get a kind of paste while you mash.  Add herbs and pepper.  Add a tablespoon of Dijon-type mustard, add 2-3Tablespoons of red-wine vinegar.  Mix well.  Drizzle in olive oil while stirring with the fork–it will take about 3/4 cup for taste, and it will blend with the other ingredients so that it thickens.  You could add a raw egg for a richer version.  You can also just dump everything into a small jar (1 cup or more) and shake really well.

Written by louisaenright

August 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm