Did you know that this week we celebrate brain awareness? And did you know that studies have shown that Vitamin B12 seems to contribute to higher IQ in children? A study conducted by the department of pharmacology at the University of Oxford found that children born to mothers with a higher dietary intake of vitamin B12 had a slightly higher IQ than other children, and that those with mothers carrying putative vitamin B12-increasing alleles were more likely to have a higher IQ than those born to mothers without these alleles. This study collected extensive data from the mothers and their offspring from pregnancy onwards by questionnaire, abstraction from medical notes, record linkage and by attendance at research clinics. Cognitive testing was carried out by trained psychologists during a clinic visit when the children were 8 years old using a shortened version of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III). Psychologists found that on average, children had higher IQ scores when their mothers presented higher levels of vitamin B12 during gestation.
If you are pregnant, or trying to conceive, you know that taking folate is essential for the healthy development of your baby. But according to the World Health Organization, vitamin B12 is just as important in preventing neural tube and other neurological defects in infants and unfortunately as many as 1 in 20 adults is deficient in this essential vitamin. Vitamin B12 is also important because it helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. A vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with increased risk for several adverse pregnancy outcomes for both mother and fetus. These risks include neural tube defects, intrauterine growth retardation, preeclampsia and early miscarriage. If you’d like to know more about Vitamin B12, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.
Vitamin B-12 Status during Pregnancy and Child’s IQ at Age 8: A Mendelian Randomization Study in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
Multiple studies have been conducted on the subject of MTFHR mutations and their impact on how our body work on a daily basis. MTHFR’s function in our body is to perform a process called methylation inside our cells. By doing so, MTHFR can help create, convert, and alter compounds within our cells. Methylation impacts many processes. It is involved in cellular repair and the production of DNA. It helps with neurotransmitter production and it is also vital in the formation and development of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
Research studies including “Assocation between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and depression: an updated meta-analysis of 26 studies” and “ Angiotensin converting enzyme and MTFHR gene variations in fibriomyalgia syndrome” have found that there is in fact a strong link between MTFHR variations and detrimental health conditions such as depression, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, among others. These studies have also shown that active forms of vitamin B12 and folinic acid are helpful in treating the negative effects of the mutation.
Today, over 60% of the world’s population has a vartiation on their MTHFR gene. Although some people never present negative side effects or health conditions due to this muation, an increasing number of people suffer consequences from the mutation. This in part is because epigenetic plays a huge role. Epigenetic is the non-genetic influence of gene expression. Simply put, our diet, stress levels, environment, lifestyle can have an impact on how the gene is expressed. Screening for MTFHR mutation is highly recommended for all patients who suffer from chronic mental, neurological, pain conditions such as depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and ADHD, as well as histamine related conditions such as hives and itchy skin.
Study: Trends in Food Allergy Research by JUNKO SHIMADA (Life Science and Medical Research Unit)
This week is “National Healthy Eating Week” and I wanted to share with all of you some important insights related to food allergy research. A study conducted by Junko Shimada at the Life Science and Medical Research Unit, regarding important trends in food allergies suggests that the incidence of allergic diseases such as food allergy, atopic dermatitis, bronchial asthma and cedar pollenosis continues to increase in developed countries such as the United States. In particular, food allergy, which is often developed during infancy, and can affect a child’s growth or trigger an “allergic march,” or in other words, the progressive development of multiple allergies.
Currently, it is estimated that over 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies and food sensitivity. Data has also shown that 1 in 13 children are affected by at least 1 food allergy in their lifetime. Now you may be wondering what exactly is a food allergy? Food allergy is an exaggerated immune response induced by the misrecognition of orally ingested food as a foreign substance. Some of the most common food allergies include but are not limited to: eggs, milk, wheat, beans, buckwheat, fruit, seafood and meat. The development of food allergy involves both genetic and environmental factors such as pollution, food contamination, and chemical preservatives added to the different food products. Food allergies cause a hypersensitive reaction that damages our various systems, with symptoms that can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, hives and eczema. Severe cases of food allergy can induce anaphylactic shock, which may lead to death. The best way to stay safe and healthy is to become aware of potential existing allergies and food sensitivities by getting tested! If you would like to learn more information regarding this topic or if you’d like to get tested you can call our office at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center and our team we’ll be happy to help you schedule an appointment.
Filed under Allergies, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, epigenetic, fatigue, Food allergy, headaches, IBD, IBS, Leaky gut syndrome, Weight Loss
An allergy is a heightened sensitivity to some foreign object that enters the body. This causes the body’s immune system to overreact by trying to defend itself. The body would normally only react towards more harmful substances such as bacteria in the air, however if you are suffering from an allergy, then even the most harmless substances will cause the body’s overreaction. Allergens can stimulate the body’s immune response by breathing it in, touching it, or ingesting it from food. Once the body is exposed to the allergen, a wide range of immune responses and symptoms can occur. These vary from mild symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, stomach ache, fatigue, and itchy eyes. However, they can become more severe such as anaphylaxis.
One of the most common types of allergy is a food allergy. Food allergies cause the body to carry out an immune response after ingesting the food that they are allergic to. In fact, many types of foods may even cause an immune response to occur. This is due to the fact that many foods contain histamines. Histamines are what cause the immune response and if one is already suffering from seasonal allergies, certain foods may worsen and increase the severity of the symptoms. Therefore, it is beneficial to not only stay away from foods that contain histamines, but it is also critical to know what types of food your body may be allergic to. Being informed of allergens will help one to avoid increasing and stimulating any other immune responses.
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms or want to receive an allergy test, call Dr. Lee at the Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center (206) 319 – 5322.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that aids the body’s functioning of the brain and nervous system. It also helps keep the nerve and blood cells healthy, while assisting in the formation of new cells. Most people consume enough vitamin B12 in their everyday diet; however, dietary restrictions such as being vegan or vegetarian may cause one to have a vitamin B12 deficiency. This is because most people receive their portion from foods such as eggs, milk, poultry, and/or fish. When one is not consuming these foods, a deficiency develops. Some people with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease may also find that they have a vitamin B12 deficiency because their body is unable to absorb this essential nutrient correctly.
A vitamin B12 deficiency has a wide range of symptoms. This includes fatigue, numbness or tingling sensation in fingertips or feet, loss of appetite, constipation, weight loss, memory loss, and development of megaloblastic anemia. A vitamin B12 shot is a very effective type of treatment for people with this type of deficiency. This injection helps combat the symptoms and increases the level of vitamin B12 in one’s body. The injection allows for the nutrient to be transported directly into the bloodstream. Therefore, people that have difficulty absorbing this specific vitamin will now have a way of receiving enough B12 to keep their cells healthy and developing correctly. After the injection, one will notice an increase in energy levels and an increase in concentration and memory.
If you are interested in receiving a vitamin B12 shot or want to learn more about the effects of these injections, please contact Dr. Lee at (206) 319 – 5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.
Vitamin deficiency can result in numerous health problems including disease, pain, inflammation and even increased risk of cancer. Two of the most common deficiencies are vitamin D and B12. The primary way to retrieve vitamin D is through the sun. Studies have shown that even if you live in a sunny environment, it is still very possible to be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin B12 on the other hand is most commonly retrieved through diet. Deficiency is vitamin B12 is most common in those who don’t consume a sufficient amount of animal products.
Vitamin D deficiency
If you are experiencing bone pain or muscle weakness, you are probably suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is synthesized in your body in response to sunlight. Therefore, a lack of direct sunlight may result in being vitamin D deficient. Even if you live in a generally sunny environment, depending on your lifestyle, you can easily be deficient. For example, if your job requires you to be indoors all day, you may very well be lacking vitamin D. Studies have also shown that people who live 37 degrees above or below the equator receive much less direct sunlight than places closer to the equator. That is why vitamin D deficiency is so prevalent in places like the Pacific Northwest.
There are a very small number of foods that actually contain vitamin D, therefore increased sun exposure and/or supplements is usually required to obtain healthy levels.
The most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness, irritability, mood changes, overall tiredness, lack of energy and overall depression. As mentioned before, vitamin B12 is consumed primarily through diet. B12 is only found in animal products, therefore vegans and vegetarians are at high risk. Another factor that can contribute to being deficient in vitamin B12 is alcohol consumption. Alcohol irritates the lining of the intestines and the stomach. Because of this, alcohol blocks B12 from being sufficiently absorbed into the blood stream. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or over the age of 60, you should highly consider taking supplements or receiving B12 injections.
If you are interested in having your vitamin levels assessed, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.
Omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body derives from certain foods. They are considered essential because they are critical for good health and the body cannot make them on its own. There are two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: Long chain (EPA and DHA) and short-chain (ALA).
Although they have many vital effects on one’s health including anti-blood clotting effects, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol, they also play in important role in fighting inflammation and are considered anti-inflammatory.
Inflammation is a critical mechanism your body possesses to help protect you from pathogens, irritants, and heal injuries by sending proteins and white blood cells to the affected area. While inflammation is very essential process, uncontrolled regulation can result in consequential tissue damage and contribute to many disease formations including cardiovascular disease and even cancer. That is why consuming anti-inflammatory foods, like Omega-3 essential fatty acids, is so imperative.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in several foods. These foods include:
• Grass fed beef
• Fresh deep water fish
• Raw flaxseeds, hemp seeds,
• Brussel sprouts
As you can see, there aren’t many foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and it is difficult to obtain the amount of Omega-3 that your body needs. Most people require a supplement to get this essential amount. Many health conditions require additional Omega-3. There are many types of supplements that are abundant in Omega-3’s. The most common and beneficial are:
• Fish oil
• Krill oil
• Cod liver oil
• Flax oil
• Hemp oil
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are abundant in fish and shellfish, and short-chain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) are typically found in plants, such as flax and hemp. It is possible for the body to synthesize DHA and EPA from ALA, but conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is extremely limited. Therefore, fish oils are usually the most efficient source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
If you are experiencing signs of inflammation or are interested in having an analysis of your Omega-3 intake, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.