1063. The Sneaky Symptoms of Low B12


Dr. Martin shares an article that came out in the New England Journal of Medicine about the sneaky and harmful effects of having low B12.

Most people don't realize that they are low in vitamin B12 and a lot of times their blood work is showing normal. The New England Journal of Medicine is finally agreeing that it’s better to have optimized levels of B12 than not.


Announcer:  You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin:  Welcome morning, everyone. Welcome to another live this morning. I think what I'll do is I'm going to recap a little bit of what we did yesterday. I don't know how many were on, but then I want to bring you a new article that came out in the New England Journal of Medicine, and I read it on Harvard Health. Okay? A new article on b12, and we'll talk about that in a minute. But let me just really quickly, because we had so much technical difficulties and guys for once, it wasn't me, okay? This is why we're doing it today on our Martin Clinic page, not on our private Facebook group, but on our Martin Clinic page. Anyway, I don't know anything about anything, so let me just quickly recap what we did yesterday. Three surprising, okay? Three surprising causes of insulin resistance. We went all into insulin. 

I talk about insulin every day because insulin's a food hormone, and it's really, really important. We all know insulin resistance. If you are a carboholic or you eat crappy carbs, you ain't going to get away with it. Eventually, you are going to develop what we call insulin resistance, and that's a very serious condition that leads to metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, autoimmune, you name it. It's the elephant in the room that nobody talks about. Now, three surprising causes of insulin resistance other than food one, okay? We talked about it again yesterday. Cortisol stress. You can take a healthy person, healthy as a horse and put them in a stressful state for a prolonged period of time. We all know what cortisol does. Cortisol is, and that it's all right. Your body's made for it of what happens when that condition is prolonged.

It can send your cells into insulin resistance. So you get a double whammo, because usually when you're stressed over a period of time, guess what? You reach for comfort foods. So now you get a double whammo of insulin resistance. Okay? Number two, statin drugs. Cholesterol lowering medications can send you in to insulin resistance. Now, we always knew that there was a connection. I talked about it on my radio show 20 years ago. The connection between statin drugs, especially in women and diabetes, actually causes diabetes. Now, we know why it starts with insulin resistance, new study, and third inflammation. So if you have example of autoimmune, like rheumatoid arthritis or whatever, you're much more likely to become a diabetic. Who knew? Who knew? But guys, this is really important because inflammation, chronic, chronic stress, chronic inflammation, send your cells into insulin resistance. They don't like insulin.

Your pancreas has to secrete even more insulin. That's a big problem. But remember now with insulin, even if you're on meds or you're in a high state, this is why it's so important to eat well all the time. It's so important to eat well. Okay? Got the memo. Okay. That was yesterday. That was yesterday. So I know that a lot of you were on, but I think a lot of people missed it because of the technical difficulties. Okay? Now, here's the article that came out. Listen to this. Interesting. The sneaky and harmful effects of having low b12. I read it in Harvard Health, but it came out of the New England Journal of Medicine, okay? Sneaky and harmful. I like the article for a lot of reasons, but the number one reason is the New England Journal of Medicine is saying what I've been saying for a long period of time. Most people, they don't realize it, that they are low in vitamin b12.

And one of the big problems is the testing for b12. It's a hundred years old. We should give it a birthday party and put it to bed because it's so far off in terms of optimizing b12. And that's actually what the New England Journal of Medicine was saying, that people do much better with optimal levels of b12, and a lot of times their blood work is showing normal. Here's the ranges, like from 200 to 1400, well, that's eternity in blood tests. And if you get anywhere in around the eight hundreds, well, I think it's seven something. It gets flagged as high. Hello? You want high b12? You don't want low b12. And again, the New England Journal of Medicine is finally agreeing better to have optimized levels of b12. Okay? Now, here's what they said in terms of possible symptoms than their sneaky, sneaky blood work.

I like between 800 and 1200. When people ask me, what do I like for B12 numbers? If it's under 800, I don't like it. Optimize it, you'll feel better. Here's what the New England Journal of Medicine said in terms of the symptoms, possible symptoms. Now, they wrote nine of them. Let me give them to you. And these are all possibilities. You government's got to look at other things too, could cause some of these symptoms. But listen, in my office, I was very, very big on b12. You only have to follow me for a bit to understand that I'm a big, big, big b12. And the vast majority of people, over 80% of the population have low levels of b12, and they're certainly not optimized. And that's not good because think about it for a minute. What does B12 actually do? What does B12 do? Before we get into some of these symptoms, what does B12 do?

Well, B12 makes red blood cells, okay? Red blood cells, you don't make enough red blood cells without b12 and red blood cells carry your hemoglobin oxygen. Hemoglobin is just Velcro. And every time you breathe, those red blood cells go through your lungs and oxygen sticks to hemoglobin. And guess what red blood cells do? They're FedEx or Canada Post or US Post or whatever you want to call 'em, Amazon trucks that deliver oxygen from your brain to your toes. You think oxygen is important? Yeah. Yeah, it is very important. Can't live without it. And yet, people walk around unbeknownst to them, and they're low in b12. They're low in b12. So that's what it does. And B12 helps make nerve endings. It also helps with the reproduction of your cells, like with the dna N I mean, you can't live without red blood cells. You can live, but you're not going to live well. It is an essential vitamin. And by the way, your body does not meet b12. You need to eat b12. And today, people don't get enough b12. And here are some sneaky symptoms that people don't even realize. And you know what? I used to see this in my office all the time. God gave me two eyes. Observe. I used to watch people come in and I would eyeball them.

Some people were, you're in my space. You're looking at me, doc. Hey, I'm looking. I'm looking at your hair. I'm looking at your eyebrows. I'm looking at your eyes. I'm looking at underneath your eyes. I'm looking at your skin. I said, you look like Casper the ghost. And then I would do their blood work and I go, and no, when there you're low and b12, I could almost tell just by looking at a person. Anyway, here's some of the symptoms. Pins and needles, hands, feet. Now that can be diabetic. Neuropathy, okay, neuropathy. But if it is diabetic neuropathy, guess what? They're low in b12. They're low in b12. Diabetics are very low in b12. Okay, we'll get into that in a minute.

Trouble walking. You're almost insecure. I'm just reading from the New England Journal of Medicine. Trouble walking imbalance. Boy, seniors get a lot of that, right? They lose their balance very easily. It's almost like unbelievable. Nobody seems to check their b12. Okay? Trouble walking. Severe joint pain. Again, I'm reading the article. Joint pain and b12. This one makes sense. Shortness of breath. You go up a flight of stairs and you're sucking for air. While of course, B12 makes red blood cells anemia. Yeah, look, I don't want to be negative, but I got to be negative for a minute. You talk to most physicians today, most not all, and say, okay, what causes anemia? Bob, the first thing they're going to tell you is iron deficiency. Yeah, but I'm telling you, my friend, it's not just iron. Sometimes it is, but it's B12 when they're low is a big, big cause of anemia.

And even the New England Journal of Medicine is getting updated. They agree. Now, swollen tongue. I always used to say this. Any kind of a perversion in the mouth, lips, tongue, paraesthesia. I used to tell 'em, eh, you low and b12, cognitive memory. Now lots of things can do stuff to your memory, but this article is saying that it's often low levels of b12 normal, but in the low end of b12. Interesting, isn't it? Weakness, muscle. You need B12 for muscle strength, grip strength. You need b12. And of course, which should be really number one on the hit parade of those symptoms would be fatigue. I'm tired, dog. I'm drained. I'm tired of being tired, huh? First thing I used to check is b12.

And here we are today. Why are people so low in b12? Let's go over that. Why? Why, why, why, why? Well, the number one reason is propaganda, not science propaganda. People today are eating less meat, 30% less meat than 20 years ago. How crazy is that? Red meat, especially red meat. It's the only place to get b12. If you think for a minute, and look, I've been around the block for a long time. I used to tell people on my radio show years ago, years and years and years and years ago before vegetarianism and veganism was really big. Like today, it's big because the young generation are being told, cut out the meat. You don't need meat. It causes cancer. Plus it's killing the environment. True or false? Isn't that what they're telling young people? They're indoctrinating young people. And of course there was the cholesterol nonsense to my generation and to my parents' generation. Cholesterol, don't eat red meat. Don't eat that stuff because your cholesterol's going to go up and you're going to have a heart attack.

All of that indoctrination is leading to low levels of b12. Human beings. You okay? Human beings take a little sample of blood. If it comes out red and you're a human being, you need b12, you are meant to eat meat. I double down on that. I triple down on that. I quadruple down on that. You were meant to eat meat. If you don't, you are actually going against your body. There is an essential vitamin. It's much more important than even medicine thinks, because a lot of times they don't even look at the B12 level unless it's solo or unless it's really high. If it's high, they're screaming.

You got high b12. I don't know what I'm going to do. So what does it mean you got high b12? Good. I give people a high five in my office. When they had high b12. I said, good for you. Okay, so today, veganism, vegetarianism. They're wrong. I'm sorry. It's not true. It's not good. You were meant to eat red meat. Vitamin S, steak. Simple as that. Anything else? It's not true. It doesn't mean that it's not popular. Of course it's popular, but it's not true. Okay? And the truth will set you free. Okay? The truth will set you free deficiencies, veganism, vegetarianism. People that live on chicken and salad. Leese, chicken and salad. I know you like it, but there ain't no b12, okay? There ain't no B12 malabsorption syndrome. That can cause low levels of b12, Crohn's, ulcerative colitis. Celia can cause these weight loss surgery.

This is very common today. Weight loss surgery causes low level of b12. Listen to me, Linda, if anyone has had bariatric surgery, they need to be on B12 the rest of their life. And I'm just going to tell you, it's better that you take B12 every day than getting a B12 shot. I'm not against B12 shots, okay? I'm not against them all. I'm telling you what's better, sublingual, okay? B12 elevates your rates and keeps your rate of B12 higher, B12 shot. But if you want to give yourself a B12 shot or whatever, again, I got no issue with B12 shots, okay? Used to be in every doctor's bag. Remember doctor's bags? They used to keep b12. Oh, you're tired here. They didn't test your blood. They just gave you a B12 shot. Okay? Now, medication, especially heartburn medication. Just read an article about Zantac. They're being sued because of their link to cancer and it's going to court.

The purple pill, pricy, anything that lowers your acidity in your stomach, tum to the Tums and roll aids to the rescue that lowers your b12, lowers your b12. You know what the worst medication is? Al? Every medication I used to tell my patient says, every medication will lower your b12. Everyone, but okay, but the worst one on the plant to lower your medication, besides those acid reducing meds are metformin, which is the most popular drug in pre-diabetes and diabetes. I mean, they give it out like candy, Metformin. The problem is, and you never hear about it. Never. And you know what? I've done this in the past when I got to do it again because it makes me angry, okay? I don't blame the physician as much as I blame the pharmacist, I blame the pharmacist. I'm calling out the pharmacist. They know this. When you are on Metformin, you are going to be low in b12.

100% for sure. So when you get a prescription for metformin, why is that pharmacist not telling you? And by the way, you need to take b12, but they don't do it because vitamins, it's vitamin, my friend. Your body doesn't work without b12. People are walking around like zombies today with no energy, and they don't have enough blood, and they're sucking for air and they have neuropathy, and they're dizzy and they're unstable, especially seniors. And my word, do you think that someone would tell 'em that they need b12 and if they're on metformin, such a popular drum today that it destroys your b12 for heaven's sakes. Ooh, I get upset. It bugs me. You got professionals that oughta know better. So if you know a pharmacist, you tell 'em I'm upset because they don't do it. It's only a vitamin.

Hmm. Okay. Okay. What else? Okay. All meds and older people, could they get low stomach acid? As you get older, your stomach acid goes down. How many people have the intrinsic factor they miss out on the intrinsic factor? They can't even absorb B12 properly anymore. Okay? You can't even absorb B12 anymore. Do you think it's essential? Absolutely essential. Absolutely. Let me just, I thought maybe I'd do a separate one, but this is under the United Kingdom to show you people over 65 in the United Kingdom are on at least five drugs a day, five different drugs a day on average over 65. Well, what does that do? I'm not telling people not to take their meds. I don't do that. I'm not your doctor.

I don't tell people not to take their meds, but if they are taking them, guess what? You're going to be low in b12. Your B12 will not be optimized. And when it's not optimized, you're low. Your low, your brain, your muscles, your cognitive decline, vitamin S for your memory, you need it, guys. You need it. It's important, isn't it? Sneaky. Here's the article. Sneaky and harmful problems with low b12. Okay? Now give us some feedback on how today went. I did this on my iPad, okay? The quality of it and whatever, it's important that we hear about it. Get back to us. So in the meantime, I really think that the Facebook app, we have what they call a business app on Facebook. That's where I do my lives from. And they got a kink in there somewhere and they updated it and they better fix the thing, okay? But in the meantime, we had to go to plan B today. Okay, guys, you know what tomorrow is? It's question and answer Friday. So send in your questions. It's not too late, okay? We enjoy getting your questions, okay? We love you guys. We'll talk to you soon.

Announcer:  You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!

Back to blog