An Unusual Symptom of B12 Deficiency; Insulin Resistance and Ovarian Cancer

An Unusual Symptom of B12 Deficiency

A recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine tells the story of a 64 year old man who went to a clinic in Singapore with a “painful, smooth, red tongue and burning sensation around his lips”. These symptoms had developed about six months before his visit to the clinic.

The doctor who examined this patient discovered he was missing small ridges on the tongue, which include the taste buds (a condition known as “atrophic glossitis”).

Ensuing lab tests found the man to be suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, and after two weeks of B12 injections, the symptoms abated, and, after a month, his tongue returned to normal. Follow this link for a look at photos of his tongue, before and after.   (Article and photos)

The take-away here is, if you find your ability to taste foods diminishing, you should perhaps check into your vitamin B12 status; or simply try supplementing with it for a while.

New readers may wish to check out an older blog of mine on “Testing for Vitamin B12”, in which I discuss the shortcoming of B12 testing in North America, how the bar is set too low, and an alternative type of B12 testing, which is required is certain cases. (Testing for Vitamin B12 Blog)

Finally, here is a link to our sublingual (under the tongue) Vitamin B12 product, Quick B12, the next best thing to an injection. In fact, I have one client for whom the injections were not helping, but when put on our liquid B12, her brain function, and cognition, improved dramatically. The difference was her doctor (like the vast majority of doctors), was injecting her with old-school B12, cyanocobalamin, and not the new generation of B12, methylcobalamin. (For more on the subject of methylcobalamin follow the Quick B12  link above.)

Insulin Resistance and Ovarian Cancer

A recent blog of mine covered the subject of using the drug Metformin (regulates blood glucose levels in diabetics) to treat fibromyalgia, and pointed out that studies indicate we can use berberine as a safer, natural alternative to this drug. (Fibromyalgia and Insulin Resistance)

Now another study has found further use for Metformin, once again showing the importance of avoiding insulin resistance, not just to prevent diabetes, but to avoid a wide variety of ailments.

In this study (published in Clinical Cancer Research), it was discovered that Metformin may halt, and possibly reverse, scarring of the ovaries that occurs with aging, and which is a big risk factor for developing ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is a common cancer among women, and has a mortality rate of 65 percent, making it one of the most dangerous cancers to get.

In this study, 27 ovaries, taken from women aged between 21 and 87, were subjected to detailed examination. Ovarian fibrosis (stiffening of the ovaries due to scarring) was found in the ovaries of the  postmenopausal women studied, and this fibrosis is indicative of a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Curtis McCloskey, said, “Cancer cells tend to like growing in these fibrotic tissues”. He went on to point out those women in the study who were using Metformin, did not have ovarian fibrosis. The research team then collected more ovaries from women taking Metformin, and discovered that none of them showed any signs of fibrosis, even if they were postmenopausal.

They concluded that Metformin could prevent “normal” aging of the ovary. Since about one third of people are on their way to being pre-diabetic, given the horrible state of the modern diet, I would debate that this scarring of the ovaries is a normal part of aging, though clearly it is common.   (Study)

The researchers suggest that younger women at risk of ovarian cancer may start to take Metformin as a preventative, but as indicated at the beginning of this article, one can use berberine as an effective, inexpensive alternative to Metformin.

Personally, I like to take berberine before bed, for, while I do not have ovaries, keeping insulin stable during the night allows for the production of growth hormone, necessary for tissue repair and for preventing premature aging.

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