In “The Townsend Letter of Doctors “, I was reading about all the B12 health benefits: everything from fighting anemia to memory and mood elevation. While I don’t practice psychiatry, the function of the central nervous system is key in my practice.
One study caught my eye. This one, (Mitsuyama et al) brought up the issue of how important zinc is in getting the B12 across the blood-brain barrier and into the central nervous system. No matter how good your B12 status, if Zinc isn’t available the vitamin won’t arrive where it’s needed. Without B12, the brain is vulnerable to a host of mental and functional difficulties.
Various obstacles exist to Zinc’s availability: mercury, cadmium and copper. How do we know if you have adequate Zinc? I have a simple, cheap and direct test at my Union Square Spinal Care office. A weak solution of Zinc is given to patients to swirl around in the mouth. I time how long it takes for any taste to develop. The more deficient a person, the longer it takes to notice.
Zinc supplements are cheap and effective. Who is most likely to develop Zinc deficiency? People exposed to cadmium, lead and copper like mechanics, plumbers, electronics technicians and those in the dental industry. Cigarette or marijuana smokers are exposed to cadmium and should also be checked regularly.
So before resorting to powerful medications consider increasing B12 and evaluating Zinc availability.