1176. Forgetful? How Low B12 Could Be the Culprit


Did you know that having low energy and forgetfulness can be a sign of a health problem often linked to low levels of B12? In fact, any low energy, Dr. Martin can guarantee it’s because of suboptimal levels of vitamin B12.

Join Dr. Martin as he discusses the role of B12 in red blood cell production, nerve health, memory, and mental health, including its impact on depression and dementia.


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:  Well, good morning everyone. Welcome to another live this morning, and thank you for joining us at this early hour. Okay, for 40 years, almost 50 years in practice. One question I used to ask, I mean, you couldn't get into my office without filling a questionnaire. We asked you to come a half an hour early for your appointment, and that was to fill out a fairly lengthy questionnaire because I love asking questions. My dad used to tell me, if you want inside information a patient has inside information, ask them questions, get it out, get those answers that you need. And you can't be a good physician of any kind really, if you're not asking questions. Okay, questions, questions, questions.

Here's one question that I used to ask them all the time. Every time on a scale to one to 10, I wanted to know their energy levels. Okay? So if I was to ask you, this is subjective, I know, but if I was to ask you, okay, what are your energy levels from 10 being high and one being low, what's your energy levels like? That is a very important question because I'm going to tell you something that if you're not in the high percentage, eight out of 10, nine out of 10, 10 out of 10 on most days, you got a problem. Houston, there's a problem because what we used to say at the clinic is your energy, that is a check engine light. Now, there's a lot of check engine lights. If you look, the check engine light on your car. Energy or a lack of, it doesn't tell you necessarily where the problem is, but you got a problem.

And so if someone would come into the office and see me, that was a question that I always, always asked them because it's so telling. Now, of course, we used to go into great detail and do lots of testing, but I wanted to know what your energy levels are like. And one thing that I found consistently, and guys, you know this, but I just got to repeat it because I read yesterday another study on vitamin B12. And I'm sure if I continue on, I don't know, for another 10 years doing this podcast, I don't know. I don't know the future, but I do know this, if I get more and more time to do the podcast, which I love doing, by the way, I'm going to tell you that there probably isn't going to be a week will pass by that I don't talk about vitamin B12. It bothers me how we just miss the boat when it comes to diagnosing low levels of B12.

I can tell you something without any reservation that if you are not optimized in B12, if your B12 levels in blood is under 800, and that means you're not optimized, I can tell you without any doubt, your energy levels will not be where they should be. You got a problem, Houston. Okay, B12. And again, I'm reading a new study that came out on B12 and I just said I got a comment on it. And this study talks about the effect of low B12 on depression. And again, it's common. And I can tell you that because we used to measure B12 in the office, it was essential. It was one of the first things that we tested. And people that are low and B12 are much more susceptible to depression. And I'm telling you that even though Alzheimer's, dementia is a problem of insulin for sure, type three diabetes mentioned in 2005, and then it was buried that they ought to call Alzheimer's type three diabetes. But guys, I'm going to tell you something. I have never seen a case of any form of poor memory whether it has already advanced into dementia or Alzheimer's without that person being low in B12.

You know what? Here's a rule of thumb. Okay? A rule of thumb, if you have low energy, you are low in B12. It's a rule of thumb. And you can hardly get physicians to look at B12. It's almost like pulling teeth. It drives me crazy. And because your first day in medical school, when you're doing any kind of physiology, you learn about red blood cells, red blood cells carry your oxygen, red blood cells carry your nutrients. Red blood cells are absolutely essential. And guess what? You don't make enough red blood cells without B12. They are essential. When people talk to me about anemia and they think iron and that's, yeah, it's true, iron is there. It's a co-factor, but it isn't the most essential. The most essential is B12. But because what happens in blood work when they see low ferritin, it's iron. No, it's more than that because B12, if you look at the patients with low ferritin, they also have suboptimal levels of B12. 100%, 100%.

And so B12 is a mental vitamin. Friend, you need oxygen in your brain. And if you want to kiss your brain's goodbye, I love those old expressions. If you want to kiss your brain's goodbye, then avoid B12. And the way to avoid B12 in food is when you don't eat red meat. If you don't eat red meat, if you don't like sun, steak and steel, if you avoid red meat. You like your chicken and salad better than red meat, you are going to be low in B12. Okay? And so it's really important about that mental capacity. But they were talking about not only oxygen, it's in depression, low levels of B12. And you know what, guys? Let me give you the Martin clinic scenario. Guys, I just got to tell you this, almost without exception, when I saw low levels of B12 suboptimal, okay? So remember I'm saying that when I say low levels of B12, if you are suboptimal, optimize B12 is the real standard that everyone on this planet should shoot for.

And the other thing that goes synergistically with B12, what works together with B12 is vitamin D. Vitamin D. Yeah. It's not just for your bones. So vitamin B12, when you are suboptimal. I read a study that if you were under 400 or under, it starts to damage nerves. The myelin sheath, you have a sheath, not a sheet, a sheath. TH okay? It protects your nerves, okay? It's a covering for the nerves, okay? It's called the myelin sheath. Medicine, don't they love big names for nothing? Okay, what don't they just call it a covering, okay? But if you're under 400, and most people are with their B12, it already starts to damage nerves.

So a lot of people, especially in diabetic neuropathy, sugar, okay, you guys know this sugar, what does it do? Destroys blood vessels. That's why insulin is saying to your sugar, sugar came here. You can't park in the blood. It's a no parking zone. Why is that? Because sugar, your body is so smart. Your body is smarter than medicine. Your body is smart, smart, smart. Dr. Martin, I just like sugar in moderation. No. Sugar destroys blood vessels, sugar destroys blood vessels, but so does a lack of B12. It destroys the myelin sheath of your nerves. And that can have a major effect in depression. It can have a major effect in dementia. It can have a major effect on neuropathy.

Guys, B12. It's essential. It's essential. Low B12 memory loss, your hippocampus, the librarian up there. Sometimes my librarian, I'm not saying on strike, but is on a siesta. You know the librarian in your memory center, the hippocampus. Sometimes mine takes a break. I'm searching for a name. I am searching for. I know that. And I said, would the librarian up there, please get back up there and would you fetch that memory for me? But one of the things that makes your librarian up there work is vitamin B12. Vitamin B12. Now it works. B12 is important for even hair and nails. By the way, besides the questions, I was very observant, okay? I'm a very observant guy, okay? So if I'm looking at you, okay, don't take it personally. Again, my father taught me that. Look, my dad used to tell me, look at patients, look at everything. Look at their skin. Look at how pale they are.

You know what? I used to get patients in the office and I say, hello, Casper. And they'd look at me. What did you just call me Casper? I said, you look like Casper the Ghost. You remember that? The cartoons? Casper the Ghost? I said, you're pale. You don't have any color in you. I tell you, I love seniors, okay? I I'm not a senior. Yes I am. I love seniors, don't you? I love them. But you know what? The vast majority of them, they're Casper the ghosts. And you know why? They don't even know that they're low in B12 because nobody told them. If you're over 65 and you're not taking B12, you're making a big mistake. I take B12 every day. And even though, you want to optimize B12. There's nobody, I mean nobody at the hospital in North America, I know why you're in the hospital, you took too much B12. There's not one person, not one. Did you hear me?

But energy B12, it's red blood cells, my friend. Nerves, memory, the mouth. People that get ulcers, mouth ulcers and cankers. And people that have trouble with a perversion like in their mouth, their tongue, their tongue feels weird. B12, almost invariably. It's so, so important. And the guys, I know this is repetition, but let's go over it. What causes low B12? Why are people so low in B12? Well, first of all, number one, number one, cause they don't eat red meat. You're not getting B12. One thing about vitamin D is if it's sunny outside, you can get some vitamin D, okay? But you can't get B12 from the sun. You got to get B12 from food, okay? You got to get B12 from food. It's essential. Food. And only in red meat, okay?

Plants. Plant, the plant kingdom. No B12. There's just none. You can't survive. So somebody that's a vegetarian, a vegan, I'm sorry. I don't mean to offend you. I really don't. It doesn't mean I don't love you. Doesn't mean I don't care for you. As a matter of fact, I do care for you and I care enough to tell you the truth. There's a verse in the Bible, I think it's in Galatians chapter 4 and verse 16, have I become your enemy because I told you the truth? I'm not your enemy. I'm just telling you the truth. The truth is, is that it is a health care crisis in our society with people with a lack of B12. It's crazy. There's no need for it, number one. So number one, people don't eat red meat.

Number two, any medication. Metformin guaranteed to be low in B12. If you are on any kind of steroid, if you are on high blood pressure medication, if you are on antidepressants, if you are on anti anxiety medication. I don't care what kind of medication it is. In my office, when people were on meds, they were low in B12. They just couldn't get to the optimal level of B12 when they were on meds. They needed to supplement with B12. Simple as that. And you have no idea the feedback I used to get from people in the Dr. Martin, I thank you. I thank you. I thank you. I used to, I had such low energy and whatever, and I didn't know why. And you put me on B12 and my word, what a difference it makes. B12.

Another reason is millions of people are on PPIs. You know what those are? Proton pump inhibitors. They are people that are taking medication for acid reflux. Man, that's a big, I mean, I don't want to get sidetracked too much, but one of the big reasons is your stomach was made specifically to eat a meat. And if you don't eat meat, your acid in your stomach, you won't have enough acidity. Use it or lose it. And you know what happens when you don't have enough acidity? Your proton pumps start to make more, and then it goes up your esophagus and you get acid reflux. Millions and millions. I think there's 40, 50 million Americans and millions of Canadians that take PPIs every day to suppress acidity. But I'm going to tell you something. When you take a P P I, you are going to be low in B12.

And as you get older too, your stomach doesn't make as much intrinsic factor. You need intrinsic factor. That's why as we get older, I talk to seniors, you need to be taking B12. And that is meds, not eating enough red meat, not absorbing because of lack of intrinsic factor as we get older, okay? Now remember with B12, it's very important to know this, okay? Very important to know it. B12, if you're taking a B complex, I joked yesterday that did you take your B complex this morning? And people looked at me and I said, well, did you eat bacon? I like that. I call that the B complex. No, but B12. Okay, B12 has to be sublingual. You have to let it melt in your mouth. You don't want to swallow it, and it needs to read the label methylcobalamin. Why is that? Because only methyl is a natural B12. It's the one you absorb, okay?

And I love a high dose of B12 around 4,000 micrograms a day. That's me. That's based on my experience and what I saw in my practice on a daily basis. Okay guys, got to run I'm speaking at a conference this week. So guys, we love you dearly, and we'll be talking 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!

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