Brain, Heart & Nerve Health
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Additional Related Benefits of Vitamin Bs

  • RLS - Restless Leg Syndrome?
    These vitamins can help relieve symptoms: Magnesium, Calcium, Folic acid, B complex (B-12 is very important)
  • Alzheimer's patients are lacking B-12 and Folic Acid.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can cause widespread damage to nerve tissue. Vitamins B1, B6, B12, and niacin are essential to healthy nerve function. Thiamine deficiency, is common among people with alcoholism and can cause a painful neuropathy.
  • Bell's Palsy: In an experiment studying 60 patients with Bell's Palsy, vitamin B12 was found to be more effective than treatment with steroids, in terms of hastening recovery of the symptoms. B12 reduces nerve inflammation.

Homocysteine and women's heart health - about heart healthy B's

High Homocysteine Levels Linked to Risk for Hip Fracture in Postmenopausal Women

Katherine Kahn, DVM

June 26, 2005 (Boston) — In the largest study to date, high levels of the amino acid homocysteine were related to almost a 2-fold increase in the risk for hip fracture in postmenopausal women. Lead investigator Meryl LeBoff, MD, presented the results of the study here at ENDO 2006, the 88th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

Dividing homocysteine levels into quartiles, the odds ratio for hip fracture risk increased linearly with homocysteine levels.

"On the basis of these data, there was an association between high homocysteine levels and risk for fracture," Dr. LeBoff told Medscape. "But further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms through which high homocysteine levels contribute to increased fracture risk, and whether this risk can be modified by nutritional factors."

Bart Clarke, MD, the moderator of the session, commented on Dr. LeBoff's study. "This is the best study by far on homocysteine and fracture risk just in terms of numbers of patients. It does show a mild effect in terms of hip fracture." Dr. Clark is assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and was not associated with the study.

The study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health WHI, the Vanguard Center, and the NIH ROI Hip Fracture Umbrella Study. Dr. LeBoff is a consultant to Novartis and a member of the advisory board to Procter & Gamble.

ENDO 2006: Abstract OR23-1. Presented June 25, 2006.

High blood levels of homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack in most studies.

Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood and too much homocysteine in the blood (plasma) is correlated to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Specifically, research suggests that homocysteine damages the inner lining of arteries and promotes blood clots by causing a scarring effect that allows calcified deposits to grow. Many cardiologists are now working to lower homocysteine levels in their patients. Although much of the evidence is compelling, we do not know yet that hyperhomocysteinemia (high homocysteine levels) is a causal factor for heart disease. There are over 20 studies going on worldwide currently with over 100,000 participants with the primary objective being to investigate the causal relationships between homocysteine levels and CVD.

What we do know for sure know is that adequate levels of Folate (folic acid) and vitamin B-12 have been shown to reduce homocysteine levels. Our Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid complex has high levels of each of these supplements to help lower homocysteine levels.

Nygard O, Nordrehaug JE, Refsum H, Ueland PM, Farstad M, Vollset SE. Plasma homocysteine levels and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med 1997;337:230-6.
The Physician’s Health Study showed that “Men with plasma homocysteine concentrations that were 12 percent above the upper limit of normal had approximately a threefold increase in the risk of myocardial infarction, as compared with those with lower levels, even after correction for other risk factors.

The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 338, No. 15

“The association of high levels of homocysteine with oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, occlusive vascular diseases, and, in particular, with decline of cognitive function may explain, at least in part, our findings on the association of low concentrations of B6 and B12 with disability,” wrote the authors.

Bartali, Benedetta et al. "Low micronutrient levels as a predictor of incident disability in older women." Archives of Internal Medicine. 2006; 166:2335-2340.

Vitamin B6 and B12 levels linked to mental function and depression

Study Details

The Tufts scientists and their co-workers analyzed data from two ethnically diverse study populations, or cohorts: The Boston Puerto Rican Health Study and the Nutrition, Aging, and Memory in Elders study.

Questionaires were used to assess dietary and health factors, and the Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE) was used to cognitive outcomes and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale was used to assess depression.

Results indicated that low witamnin B12 concentrations were associated with higher depression scores and lower MMSE scores, while low B6 concentrations were linked to lower MMSE scores.

Moodiness, restlessness, irritability, insomnia and impaired mental functioning (particularly in the elderly) can indicate a B-12 deficiency and supplementation can cause dramatic improvement. 1-4
1. Ellis FR, Nasser S. A pilot study of vitamin B12 in the treatment of tiredness. Br J Nutr 1973;30:277–83.
2. Lapp CW, Cheney PR. The rationale for using high-dose cobalamin (vitamin B12). CFIDS Chronicle Physicians’ Forum, 1993;Fall:19–20.
3. 12. Lindenbaum J, Healton EB, Savage DG, et al. Neuropsychiatric disorders caused by cobalamin deficiency in the absence of anemia or macrocytosis. N Engl J Med 1988;318:1720–8.
4. 13. Penninx BW, Guralnik JM, Ferrucci L, et al. Vitamin B(12) deficiency and depression in physically disabled older women: epidemiologic evidence from the Women’s Health and Aging Study. Am J Psychiatry 2000;157:715–21.


Lack of B-6 may cause carpal tunnel syndrome, painful neuropathy in your hands that may make it impossible to type or grip heavy objects. Also important is cyanocobalamin (B-12), which helps nerves function and avoid damage. Both B-12 and folic acid (B-9) deficiency can give you neuropathic leg and foot pain.

Nerve Health
Vitamin B12 maintains the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers.
Myelin is created and maintained by methylation reactions that depend on vitamin B12.
B12 metabolizes the fatty acid necessary to maintain the myelin sheaths.
B-vitamins, such as thiamin (B1), pyridoxine (B6), and cyanocobalamin (B12), have been proven to be clinically effective in treating various painful conditions such as sciatica.

When Japanese researchers studied how B vitamins enhance nerve health, they found that supplements helped nerves repair themselves and transmit their vital information (Gen Pharmacol 1996;27(6)995-1000).
A German study found similar benefits (Ex Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 1996;104(4):311-6). Yet another study discovered that taking B-6 can relieve nerve pain (Adv Perit Dial 2000;16:308-12).

Publisher's abstract: New England Journal of Medicine. 2004;350(26):2708-10.
A regimen of folate, vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6 prevented recurrence of blocked arteries in patients who had undergone coronary angioplasty. Patients taking the vitamin combination over the six-month study showed a 48% reduction in the development of restenosis, or renarrowing of the arteries, compared with patients receiving the placebo. The vitamin regimen decreased by 38% the need for repeat angioplasties or heart-bypass operations. [Participants were randomly assigned to receive a combination of 400 mcg cyanocobalamin, 10 mg vitamin B6, and 1 mg folate daily.] Important: Taking a B6/B12/Folate supplement is currently NOT recommended following stent implantation due to a conflicting study showing increased risk of restenosis. 3

New England Journal of Medicine
Volume 346:476-483

Plasma Homocysteine as a Risk Factor for Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Sudha Seshadri, M.D., Alexa Beiser, Ph.D., Jacob Selhub, Ph.D., Paul F. Jacques, Sc.D.,
Irwin H. Rosenberg, M.D., Ralph B. D'Agostino, Ph.D., Peter W.F. Wilson, M.D., and Philip A. Wolf, M.D

Conclusions An increased plasma homocysteine level is a strong, independent risk factor for the
development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
(Various human clinical trials noted below.)

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