Your Peripheral Nervous System
Its important to understand what we mean when we refer to the peripheral nervous system . While your central nervous system includes just the nerves and nerve cells of your brain and spinal cord, your peripheral nervous system includes all the other nerves of your body- the network of neurons that branch out from your CNS to your limbs, torso, face, and internal organs.
Every time you take in the mouthwatering scent of food cooking on a grill, or feel the bite of winter frost on your nose, thats your peripheral nervous system at work. Even your inner bodily functions like breathing, blood pressure, and digestion are controlled by your peripheral nerves.
Vitamin B12 And Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition caused by damage to the nerves in the hands, feet and arms. It gains its name from the peripheral nervous system, the system of nerves that sends information from the central nervous system to the rest of the body.
This damage can come from a lack of vitamin B12, because, as mentioned, B12 fortifies the protective myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves. The absence or erosion of the myelin sheath makes the nerves vulnerable to damage, which eventually can lead to conditions such as peripheral neuropathy.
This condition affects the sensory nerves, the motor nerves and the autonomic nerves, which is why the symptoms often relate to sensations and movements of the hands and feet.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and/or feet
- Burning, stabbing or shooting pains in the hands and/or feet
- Loss of balance from damage to the motor nerves
- Muscle weakness
The Mayo Clinic explains that, while vitamin B12 is an important factor in the health and maintenance of nerves, other vitamins that make up the B complex such as B1, B6 and niacin all are crucial to overall nerve health.
The National Health Service of the United Kingdom says that vitamin B12 deficiency is an exacerbating factor and predominant cause for the development of peripheral neuropathy, but there are many other potential causes such as certain illnesses and medicines.
Can I Get Additional B12 Through My Diet
You can increase the amount of B12 you have in your body by changing your diet to one that is high in foods that are rich in B12. These include things such as lean beef, fatty fish, eggs, dairy, clams and fortified cereal. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 is not stored in the body, and excess is excreted through your urine. For this reason, it is important that you ensure a regular, steady flow of either supplements or B12-boosting foods in your diet.
Don’t Miss: What Fruits Have Vitamin C In Them
What Is B12 And Why Is It Important For Your Spinal Health
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, assists the production of healthy red blood cells in our body. These cells are responsible for carrying oxygen around the body.However, research has also shown that B12 is an extremely important vitamin for spine health. Not only do B vitamins help to reduce inflammation a key cause of chronic back pain but they also help our bodies to replace damaged spinal nerve cells with new, healthy ones.
Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
All articles were reviewed for inclusion by two authors. Where there was uncertainty or conflict in decisions, this was discussed between the authorship in order to reach a consensus.
Articles eligible to be included in this review were required to meet the following criteria:
The article discussed B12 as a treatment for peripheral neuropathic pain.
The study was conducted using human subjects.
The article was written in the English language.
The study was original.
Articles meeting the following criteria were excluded from our review:
Case series with less than 10 participants.
Articles using duplicate data or entirely duplicate papers.
Articles which could not be obtained at least as an abstract.
Child population studies.
Articles describing mixed nociceptive-neuropathic pain syndromes.
Details of this process are detailed in Figure 1.
A PRISMA chart illustrating the reasons for exclusion.
Read Also: How To Eat Vitamin D
Combination Of Vitamins B1 B6 And B12
Further histological evidence for the nerve-regenerating effect of the combination was provided by Becker et al. who applied cold damage to the saphenous nerve of 50 rabbits. They subsequently treated 25 rabbits with high-dose vitamins B1, B6, and B12 for 21 days while the remaining rabbits received placebo. In fact, the B vitamin combination significantly increased the number of regenerated axons, especially of myelinated fibers . Moreover, a vitamin B complex containing vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 attenuated the increase in nerve and muscle nuclear density observed after injury to the femoral nerve and its target muscle in rats . Another study using the same vitamin B complex demonstrated reduced local inflammation after peripheral nerve injury .
B12 Shots For Nerve Pain
As we have noted for decades, it is important to address nerve pain with the following recipe:
Give these at least 3 months to work.
In this study, B12 shots decreased nerve pain 4 times as effectively as the medication nortriptyline.
We add medications for initial relief as well as discussed in my book Pain Free 1-2-3, but the nutrients above can actually help heal the nerves.
For more information on nerve pain , see “Effective Therapy for Neuropathic Pain.”
Vitamin B may be more effective than nortriptyline in improving painful diabetic neuropathy. Talaei A, Siavash M, Majidi H, Chehrei A. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Feb 12:1-6.
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world’s leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of eight research studies on their effective treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.
Also Check: Where Are Nature Made Vitamins Sold
Vitamin B12 Decreased En
To evaluate the therapeutic role of vitamin B12 in the treatment of TBI, vitamin B12 was administered intraperitoneally immediately following TBI. Brain water content was detected at 24 h after TBI. The brain water content of the TBI group was obviously increased relative to the sham group , and the brain water contents of the vitamin B12-treated TBI groups were reduced to differing degrees relative to the TBI group . These results indicated that vitamin B12 significantly alleviated ipsilateral brain oedema after TBI injury.
Figure 1. Vitamin B12 treatment reserves tissue structure damage and protects functional recovery after TBI. Quantification of brain water content in the ipsilateral brain cortex at 1 day after TBI. ##P< 0.01 vs. the sham group. P< 0.05 and & P< 0.05 vs. the TBI group values represent the mean ± SEM, n = 6. Garcia test evaluation at 7 days, 14 days after TBI. #P< 0.05 vs. the sham group. P< 0.05 vs. the TBI group values represent the mean ± SEM, n = 5. Representative images of H& E and Nissl staining in the cortex at 14 days post-TBI.
Vitamin B12 Inhibited Microtubule Damage Through Er Stress After Tbi
Numerous studies have indicated that vitamin B12 has neuroprotective effects on TBI . We hypothesized that vitamin B12 may play a neuroprotective role by maintaining microtubule stability. We detected the expressions of MAP-2 and Tau, promote axon microtubulin bundling and dynamics and stabilize microtubule. As shown in Figures 4AC, the expressions of MAP-2 and Tau decreased after injury, and the Tau expression was significantly higher in the vitamin B12-treated group relative to the TBI group after 7 days. Interestingly, only the 1.5 mg/kg dose of vitamin B12 reversed the loss of MAP-2. Then we examined MAP-2 expression by immunofluorescence. The results revealed that the MAP-2-positive neurons in the TBI group were significantly disorganized 7 days after injury. However, the vitamin B12-treated groups showed good neurological morphology, which was similar to the morphology observed in the sham group relative to the TBI group . In addition, this result was further confirmed by immunofluorescence in PC12 cells with OGD, as shown in Figure 4E. The Ace-tubulin and Tyr-tubulin proteins were detected to examine stable microtubules and dynamic microtubules, respectively. The results showed that the Ace-tubulin/Tyr-tubulin ratio after vitamin B12 treatment was increased relative to the OGD treatment group. Taken together, vitamin B12 exerted microtubule stabilizing effect.
Read Also: Are Vitamin C Packets Good For You
Post Your Results In The Comments Below
Disclaimer: Before starting any new supplement or vitamin regime, consult your doctor. He can best advise you how to take any new supplements and its side effects if any. Additionally, he will study the medications youre currently taking to see if there are any conflicts. Although vitamins are helpful, we do not recommend they take the place of your prescribed medication.
Are You At Risk Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are many causes for vitamin B12 deficiency. Surprisingly, two of them are practices often undertaken to improve health: a vegetarian diet and weight-loss surgery.
Plants dont make vitamin B12. The only foods that deliver it are meat, eggs, poultry, dairy products, and other foods from animals. Strict vegetarians and vegans are at high risk for developing a B12 deficiency if they dont eat grains that have been fortified with the vitamin or take a vitamin supplement. People who have weight-loss surgery are also more likely to be low in vitamin B12 because the operation interferes with the bodys ability to extract vitamin B12 from food.
Conditions that interfere with nutrient absorption, such celiac or Crohns disease, can cause B12trouble. So can the use of commonly prescribed heartburn drugs, which reduce acid production in the stomach . The condition is more likely to occur in older people due to the cutback in stomach acid production that often occurs with aging.
You May Like: What Vitamins Should 40 Year Old Woman Take
Cbd Oil & Cannabis Sativa Extract
Cannabis sativa is a plant famously known for its psychotropic effects. These effects are thanks to THC, one of the many cannabinoids found in C. sativa. CBD is another cannabinoid found in high concentrations in this plant, and many recent studies have examined the medicinal benefits of THC, CBD, THC+CBD, and whole-plant C. sativa extract.
When it comes to neuropathic pain, THC+CBD has been found to be quite effective in human studies. In one study, patients with neuropathic pain that had taken part in two other randomized, controlled studies took part in a 38-week extension study. Patients took the THC/CBD spray in addition to their current analgesic medications. It helped to relieve pain, was well tolerated, and did not require patients to increase their dose over time.
If you live in a state or country where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, a combination of THC/CBD may be effective in helping relieve neuropathic pain.
If you do not, you can still legally purchase CBD oil. While there have not been any studies examining the effect of CBD-only treatment for neuropathy in humans, those that have been conducted on animals are promising.
In one study, oral CBD was found to be an effective treatment for chronic neuropathic and inflammatory pain in mice.
Tingling Hands Or Feet
Vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause pins and needles in the hands or feet. This symptom occurs because the vitamin plays a crucial role in the nervous system, and its absence can cause people to develop nerve conduction problems or nerve damage.
In the nervous system, vitamin B-12 helps produce a substance called myelin. Myelin is a protective coating that shields the nerves and helps them transmit sensations.
People who are vitamin B-12 deficient may not produce enough myelin to coat their nerves. Without this coating, nerves can become damaged.
Problems are more common in the nerves in the hands and feet, which are called peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerve damage may lead to tingling in these parts of the body.
Also Check: How Often Can I Take Vitamin C
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy
To begin, the condition in question is peripheral neuropathy, a dysfunction of the peripheral nerves. Most commonly, this leads to numbness, tingling, weakness, pain, or even paralysis that begins in the hands or feet and can spread throughout the body. Either a single body part can be affected or multiple can exhibit symptoms.
Most commonly, peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of diabetes, though injuries and other conditions can also bring it on in patients. It is also a side effect of some chemotherapy treatments.
Nerve Damage From Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Like multiple sclerosis , vitamin B12 deficiency can also impair your nervous system and cause severe handicaps.
Your body relies on vitamin B12 to protect your nervous system from harm. Vitamin B12 builds myelin, a fatty substance that insulates your nerve fibers, enhancing intercellular communication, so that sensory messages travel along the spinal cord to the brain smoothly and efficiently.
When vitamin B12 levels are low, you experience side effects resulting from demyelination, destruction of the nerve cells outer coating. Nervous impulses become slower and chronic nerve pain symptoms of painful tingling, burning, and numbness become more frequent as the protective layer of your delicate nerve fibers slowly corrodes.
Over time, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe, debilitating chronic nerve pain and handicaps, such as difficulty walking, controlling arm movements, or maintaining balance.
Unless treated, severely depleted vitamin B12 levels can cause increased risk for heart attacks, stroke, and ultimately, death.
Read Also: What Vitamin B Should I Take
What Are The Neurological Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Initial symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are mostly non-specific lack of energy and poor performance, as well as unsteadiness in the legs. The poorly functioning nerves in the spinal cord often trigger false sensations in the lower extremities at first, like burning and numbness in the feet, and a tight, cuff-like feeling in the calves. Since the brain, neurotransmitters, and hormones are also affected, vitamin B12 deficiency can additionally cause concentration problems, poor memory, and depression.
Chronic Nerve Pain From Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Back pain, sore legs, and headaches may result from an injury, or from chronic illness like migraines, but they can also be symptoms of chronic nerve pain resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency, a form of anemia that impairs red blood cell production and leads to severe nerve cell damage. Listed are some typical causes of neuropathic pain associated with low vitamin B12 levels.
There are many types of chronic nerve pain, and most of them are strongly linked to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Don’t Miss: Does Vitamin D Help Osteoporosis
How Do B12 Injections Help
Recently, studies have shown a correlation between the use of vitamin B12 injections and a decrease in the amount of pain experienced by a patient in the lower back. While you can get additional B12 through your diet , it is difficult to monitor the increased levels to see if they are closer to satisfactory. However, a B12 shot is a simple, straightforward way of boosting a patients vitamin levels with perfect accuracy.
B12 & Sciatic Nerve Pain
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your hip and buttocks area down both of your legs. If you experience sharp pain in your lower back, buttocks, the back of the thighs or the back of the legs you may be experiencing sciatic nerve pain. This pain may go away on its own depending on the cause but it can be very uncomfortable. Vitamin B12 is essential for the health of your nerves. Sciatic nerve pain can indicate a diet deficient in B12.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Maximum Daily Dose Of Vitamin D
The Types Of B Vitamins
There are eight kinds of B vitamins:
Let’s take a look at the vitamins that have an impact on the health of nerve cells, and should therefore be considered by someone with neuropathy.
Dosage Of Vitamin B For Neuropathy
The dose of vitamin B complex for peripheral neuropathy treatment is dependent on the severity and nature of the condition. It is important to identify which vitamins one is deficient in.
The dosage of vitamin B1 for neuropathy is 100 mg per day. Intravenous or intramuscular injections may be necessary in some cases. Benfotiamine at high doses of 150-320 mg per day is effective in diabetic neuropathy.
The dosage of Vitamin B12 for neuropathy ranges from 20 mcg to 1,840 mcg daily while for methylcobalamin, it is 4 mg and 1,500 mg daily. Intramuscular injections may be necessary in some cases.
The dosage of Vitamin B6 for neuropathy must be limited to less than 100-200mg per day. 50-60mg per day is found to help in neuropathy associated with chronic kidney failure. It can be toxic at 1000mg and high doses can cause neuropathy.
A study published in Drug Safety, 2018 highlighted the occurrence of spontaneous neuropathy in individuals using vitamin B6 supplements. While this trend was observed at high dose and long term use, even low doses such as less than 50mg/day were associated with neuropathy.
Please consult your health practitioner before taking vitamin B6 supplements.
Note: The symptoms and severity of peripheral neuropathy differ with every individual. This could influence the use/ effectiveness of dietary supplements, herbs and alternative treatments for the same. Consult a health practitioner before taking B complex supplements.
Don’t Miss: What Does Vitamin C Do For The Human Body