- and why is the problem so common?
Lack of vitamin B12 can cause pernicious anemia, which WHO considers a global threat. Vitamin B12 is primarily known for its role in red blood cell formation, whereas its role in the brain and nervous system is often overlooked. A vitamin B12 deficiency can easily lead to disabling damage if it goes unnoticed. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that prevents people from absorbing vitamin B12 from food. The condition is potentially life-threatening but is difficult to diagnose and many people go untreated, according to Associate Professor Heidi Seage, who is affiliated with the Pernicious Anaemia Society. A worsening factor is the climate debate that has inspired an increasing number of people to turn to vegetarianism and veganism. Plant-based diets are known to cause vitamin B12 deficiency, and the problem is insidious and therefore not easy to detect. The use of diabetes medication (such as metformin) can also deplete the body’s levels of vitamin B12
People with celiac disease are hyper-sensitive towards gluten, which we get from wheat and other grains. Gluten triggers inflammatory processes in the mucosa of the small intestine, impairing the uptake of nutrients. At the time of being diagnosed with the condition, people are often severely deficient in vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, zinc, and copper. That problem should be addressed, according to a large study from the Mayo Clinic, a large, non-profit medical center based in Minnesota, USA. A growing number of people are affected by celiac disease that is linked to digestive problems plus other symptoms that are often misdiagnosed because the patient lacks vital nutrients. In this article, you can read about the difference between celiac disease and other types of gluten intolerance and find out how to deal with the problem.
Hashimoto’s disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) is an overlooked scourge that leads to hypothyroidism and is particularly widespread among women. Postpartum thyroiditis that also slows down your metabolism follows in the wake of pregnancy. Graves’ disease where the metabolism speeds up (hyperthyroidism) is less common. These three thyroid disorders belong to the group of autoimmune disorders where the immune defense attacks the body’s tissues, and it appears that lack of vitamin D increases the risk, as it controls the immune defense in a number of ways. According to a new review article that is published in Nutrients, taking larger quantities of vitamin D may have a positive impact on these thyroid disorders.
Sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, certain gastrointestinal infections, and a host of other diseases are so-called autoimmune diseases that occur as a result of the immune defense overreacting and attacking the body’s own tissues. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have now mapped out exactly how vitamin D regulates the immune system. In fact, vitamin D may have a positive effect on autoimmune diseases such as sclerosis. But at our latitude, this provides that we get enough vitamin D from the sun in the summertime and take vitamin D supplements in the winter period. Besides, it is a problem that being overweight both increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency and sclerosis, while lack of magnesium makes it difficult for the body to activate vitamin D.