We all have complaints. As we age, things just don’t look the same, feel the same, or work the same. But the biggest fear of something gone wrong these days is the loss of our brain power. I eat too much, and I’m a bit overweight, but good God, I KNOW I AM OVERWEIGHT! I look at aging relatives and friends, and the thought of losing the brain (since I’m an engineer) is very scary.
The latest news from Life Extension Foundation “B vitamin supplements slow brain atrophy in cognitively impaired patients” is nothing short of a miracle, or the hope of one. “The results of a double-blinded clinical trial reported online on September 8, 2010 in the journal PLoSONE revealed that men and women with mild cognitive impairment who were supplemented with vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid experienced a reduction in the rate of brain atrophy compared with those who received a placebo. (REF: http://www.lef.org/newsletter/2010/0914_B-Vitamin-Supplements-Slow-Brain-atrophy-Cognitively-Impaired-Patients.htm?source=search&key=b%20vitamins%20and%20alzheimers)
Add this key piece of information to the fact that Americans are suffering from hypothyroidism at an increased rate. When you have hypothyroidism, your body does not absorb vitamin B12. Many people are never diagnosed, and have the sub-optimal levels of hormones and suffer in silence. There are many articles written about the causes of hypothyroidism and they include iodine deficiency as well as fluoridated public water. (One thing I stopped drinking a few years ago was non-filtered water!)
Look at the symptoms of hypothyroidism….and you’ll agree its the shopping list of “getting old”: (REF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothyroidism)
- Cold intolerance, increased sensitivity to cold
- Weight gain and water retention
- Bradycardia (low heart rate – fewer than sixty beats per minute)
- Decreased sweating
- Muscle cramps and joint pain
- Dry, itchy skin
- Thin, brittle fingernails
- Rapid thoughts
- Poor muscle tone (muscle hypotonia)
- Female infertility; any kind of problems with menstrual cycles
- Hyperprolactinemia and galactorrhea
- Elevated serum cholesterol
- Slow speech and a hoarse, breaking voice – deepening of the voice can also be noticed, caused by Reinke’s Edema.
- Dry puffy skin, especially on the face
- Thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows (sign of Hertoghe)
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Low basal body temperature
- Thyroid-related depression
- Infertility in women
- Mood swings
- Acute fatigue syndrome
- Decreased libido in men
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and bilateral paresthesia
- Impaired memory
- Impaired cognitive function (brain fog) and inattentiveness.
- A slow heart rate with ECG changes including low voltage signals. Diminished cardiac output and decreased contractility
- Reactive (or post-prandial) hypoglycemia
- Sluggish reflexes
- Hair loss
- Anemia caused by impaired haemoglobin synthesis (decreased erythropoietin levels), impaired intestinal iron and folate absorption or B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath with a shallow and slow respiratory pattern
- Increased need for sleep
- Irritability and mood instability
- Yellowing of the skin due to impaired conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A (carotoderma)
- Impaired renal function with decreased glomerular filtration rate
- Acute psychosis (myxedema madness) (a rare presentation of hypothyroidism)
- Decreased libido in men due to impairment of testicular testosterone synthesis
- Decreased sense of taste and smell (anosmia)
- Puffy face, hands and feet (late, less common symptoms)
- Enlarged tongue
If you see yourself in the above list, go to your physician and get your hormone levels checked. The aging process is certainly accelerated by a lack of good nutrition, and if you are not able to absorb your B vitamins, you need to know.
Stay tuned for an article on just how many B’s you need buzzing around!
To your health!