Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Article in The Wall Street Journal Today on B12...

by Kirstin Boncher

My son started speaking when we began B12 supplementation after low levels of this vitamin were discovered on a blood test and I myself had a slew of health problems from low B12 so vitamin B12 is an interest of mine. When I saw the article Sluggish? Confused? Vitamin B12 May Be Low in the Wall Street Journal today I thought it was worth bringing to everyone's attention. It's not an answer for everyone, nor is it a magic cure, but it's important to ask your doctor about getting a B12 level for anyone with neurological problems to make sure that low levels of this critical nutrient aren't the cause of some of ongoing problems.

Some parent's do report that children with autism spectrum disorder benefit from treatment with methyl B12 (see Parent Ratings of Behavioral Effects of Biomedical Intervention) and there are even B12 lollipops called revitaPOP's to address this issue. People with digestive disorders, like celiac disease and Crohn's are at risk for being low in this vitamin as well as people who are avoiding dairy or vegetarian. Because many children on a gluten free casein free diet do not eat processed food, they are also not consuming food that is fortified with B12. The Wall Street Journal has an article today called Sluggish? Confused? Vitamin B12 May Be Low which gives food sources of B12 and gives an overview of why some people are low in B12. TACA has a good overview of Methyl-B12: A Treatment for ASD with Methylation Issues--it's an article from 2005 Autism One Conference but it's still worth reading. In a more recent study from 2010 on Vitamin B12 Optic Neuropathy in Autism in Pediatrics, it was found that in a few cases
"food selectivity, a known complication of autism, can result in vitamin deficiency that can cause visual loss and optic atrophy."1
A Pilot Study of the effect of methyl B12 treatment published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine investigating the effect of methyl B12 treatment found that
"Comparison of the overall means between groups suggests that methyl B12 is ineffective in treating behavioral symptoms of autism. However, detailed data analysis suggests that methyl B12 may alleviate symptoms of autism in a subgroup of children, possibly by reducing oxidative stress. An increase in glutathione redox status (GSH/GSSG) may provide a biomarker for treatment response to methyl B12. Additional research is needed to delineate a subgroup of potential responders and ascertain a biomarker for response to methyl B12." 2
Again, while it isn't the answer for everyone, it's important to be aware that B12 can be an issue for some children with ASD--especially picky eaters and children who are vegetarians.


1. Published online September 20, 2010 PEDIATRICS Vol. 126 No. 4 October 2010, pp. e967-e970 (doi:10.1542/peds.2009-2975) http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/126/4/e967

2. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):555-60. Pilot study of the effect of methyl B12 treatment on behavioral and biomarker measures in children with autism. Bertoglio K, Jill James S, Deprey L, Brule N, Hendren RL. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA, USA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20804367

1 comment:

Sabeeha Rehman said...

Thank you for posting this Kirstin. Very good information.