Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Link With Schizophrenia And Autism
Deficiencies in certain vitamins and nutrients can cause certain problems, both physical and mental and different vitamins respond to different systems in our bodies and have different functions. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and it is very important for red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and many neurological functions. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in certain products but it can also be taken as a supplement for those who do not get enough B12 in their diet. Deficiency in B12 can be linked to many negative consequences, including anemia, vision loss, many behavioral changes and mental problems that could include but aren’t limited to depression and memory loss.
In order to maintain our energy and health, we need to live a healthy lifestyle which includes our diet and exercise. When we talk about diets, we mean that we need to take in a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for maintaining that health. There are many different disputes and variations in the world that argue between different diet versions and which one is the most optimal one for humans.
Many base their arguments on ethical reasons, others – health reasons, however, scientists have identified some key elements that are important for our development and health maintenance, not only when we grow but even when we aren’t born yet. That means that whatever our mothers put in their bodies during pregnancies will have an effect on us later on as well.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: What We Know
Recently, vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with autism and schizophrenia. If one were to think about these two disorders, they wouldn’t really think of them as the disorders that have a lot or even any things in common.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by deficiencies in socialization and interaction including social reciprocity, deficiency in developing, maintaining and understanding interpersonal relationships and the nonverbal body language and communicative behaviors that people used for interaction. Autistic people are present with behaviors, activities and interests that are repetitive and restrictive.
Schizophrenia is classified as a psychotic disorder and has disruptions and deficiencies in normal perceptual and thought process, emotions and personality. Schizophrenia is often characterized by the presence of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, abnormal motor behavior and other negative symptoms that include decreased emotional expressions, decrease in goal-directed activities, and decreased pleasure.
Because vitamin B12 is so vital in blood formation and the normal functioning of the nervous system, one can only imagine what the deficiency of this vitamin will cause. Scientists have also found that people with dementia have been characterized with a lower level of vitamin B12 in their system. There has been no cause and effect experiment or study done in order to confirm and say what type of effect vitamin B12 has regarding with the development of these disorders, however, one can clearly see that there is a link. The low levels of vitamin B12 were actually found in the brains of individuals with autism, schizophrenia and aging disorders and not the blood. Because of that scientists say that vitamin B12 could also be linked to some of the neurological symptoms that the disorders display.
It is highly important to get your blood tests in regularly and make sure that all of your vitamins and nutrients are at normal levels. If you find out that you are either deficient or you have too much of a certain nutrient, speak with your doctor and create a plan of how to properly combat the imbalanced level. It is vital and optimal to see the imbalance as early as possible and not let it get to the severe stages.
Valerie is a psychology student who is trying to pursue a career in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is passionate about the brain and finds it fascinating. She loves learning about new discoveries and research that is going on in the world of psychology and neuroscience. One day she hopes to contribute to the scientific community!