The Mercereau Report Volume 4: Don't Let 'Em Block Your B12
This is the fourth in a series of blogs written by Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA. The goal of the Mercereau Report is to communicate information that is pertinent to our expanding practices. This edition of the Mercereau report is a selection of information about the importance of medication safety.
Dr. Barbara Starfield of Johns Hopkins published a study in 2012 disclosing that 106,000 deaths are caused annually by prescription medications, but how can this happen? There are many other articles published on this.
How can prescription drugs cause so many problems? Well, interactions with other medications/supplements/food are one big reason. Another is the lack of attention to the small print: Warnings, precautions, and side effects. Nutrient blocking effects are another hidden problem in prescription drugs. You can reach Karen to investigate if any of your clients’ medications either can or are causing serious clinical problems for you.
Let’s look at a couple of examples...
Statins and Coenzyme Q10: Your Heart and Your Brain Health
Are any of your clients taking a statin medication to control their cholesterol? Has their physician also prescribed CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to go along with the statin? Well, CoQ10 is naturally produced in our bodies and is critical for heart and brain health. CoQ10 is an important coenzyme in the processes that supply energy to cells.
Increasing CoQ10 intake has been linked to protection from cardiovascular disease, neurological conditions, age-related bone loss, metabolic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, and more. Unfortunately, the production of CoQ10 decreases significantly as we age.
Please note: Statins block the production of CoQ10!
Nutrient Blocking Effects can cause serious health issues and are still being investigated.
Let’s Take a Look at Just One Such Problem: The Blocking of Vitamin B12.
What does B12 do for us?
- Plays a key role in the normal nervous system functioning
- Critical in blood formation
- Involved in the metabolism of every cell: DNA synthesis, energy production
What are B12 blockers?
- Antacids such as Prevacid, Pepcid, Prilosec, Nexium;
- All Antibiotics;
- Anti-Diabetics such as Metformin, Micronase;
- Some Antidepressants such as Elavil, Tofranil, Pamelor, Sinequan;
- Cholesterol-lowering meds such as Questran;
- Some Hormone Replacements such as Evista, Prempro, Premarin;
- Dilantin; Colchicine; Aldomet; Phenobarbital; Potassium Chloride; Depakene.
What does a deficiency of B12 look like in our bodies?
- Increased cardiovascular risk
- Appetite loss
- Poor Blood Clotting
- Muscle cramps
- Impaired Coordination
- GI Issues
- Inflammation of mouth/tongue.
If you suspect that your client may have a B12 deficiency, ask their healthcare provider to order the lab to check it out! If they are low, it is a simple, low-cost fix by taking B12 in the methylcobalamin form (this is the natural form as is most easily absorbed).
(Click here to read the previous Mervereau Report)
Written by Karen Mercereau, RN, iRNPA