B12d Newsletters - B12d Newsletter May 2020
Vitamin B12 and the Coronavirus SARS-CoV2
Newsletter available for download from here B12d May Newsletter
What has B12 got to do with Covid-19 (the disease and symptoms caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus)?
And can Vitamin B12 help?
Vitamin B12 won’t stop you catching the virus, although millions of people may have caught it and not even know (it’s thought that 80-85% of people get none or only minor symptoms). But B12 will affect how bad your symptoms are and how quickly you fight it off.
The virus can’t float around dry. It floats around in spittle and snot droplets, which are quite big. This means that any barrier is a help, and the more barrier the better. Masks, scarves, eye protection, hand washing, social distancing, self-isolation - all make a difference.
Droplets fall to the ground after a short time, so the more distance, the better.
The smaller the dose you get, the less your symptoms will be and the better you will cope.
How are you coping with self-isolation?
We asked the people present at the meeting how we were coping. Some people are relieved that we don’t have to go out. The first graph shows quite a mix of responses to, whether you strongly agree or strongly disagree.
The second graph summarises people’s descriptions of how they feel about the virus, because rightly, it’s more of a danger to someone whose immune system isn’t so strong. The answer given the most often is “worried”. Words get bigger the more times people said them, and get more into the centre.
Your immune system
The stronger your immune system, the better you are at fighting off the virus. The more energy you have, the stronger you will be to fight of the virus. Everything that B12 contributes to, helps to keep you well when the virus strikes.
This message is covered Chapter 7 of Dr Chandy’s book - “Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Clinical Practice”.
The chapter describes how B12 is important for the cell membrane, and how a shortage of B12 can cause the cell membrane to distort or be of the incorrect thickness. This means that the endocrine system (hormones) don’t work as they should, and the immune system also breaks down.
Outside of coronavirus, you suffer from autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Graves’, Sjögren’s, and potentially diabetes (see list in Chapter 1 section 1.4.5).
There are two immune systems, on the lookout for external infections, and on the look out for abnormalities in the body. If the Innate immune system (looking out for abnormalities) goes wrong due to lack of Vitamin B12, that’s when you get autoimmune conditions. If the Adaptive immune system goes wrong, then you are less able to fight infection and more susceptible to viruses.
Vitamin B12 makes you better able to resist infection.
Shortage of B12 leads to (answers from those at the Zoom meeting)
Each of these can make you more susceptible, more likely to have uncomfortable symptoms. If you are tired, you won’t have as much energy to fight the infection. But all isn’t lost.
GP Practices have (in some cases) stopped B12 injections
We’ve had notice from a number of people that GP practices have stopped offering the injections.
If B12 injections are so important, why are GP practices stopping injections, and what can you do about it?
Many GP practices are continuing to give B12 injections.
What is NOT RIGHT
• The claim that the body has stores of B12 which will last months or years is true for healthy people, but not for people with B12 deficiency
• B12 deficient people often have trouble absorbing (classic Pernicious Anaemia),. And NHS prescription tablets only have 50mcg in (typical Over the Counter or OC tablets have 1000mcg or 5000mcg)
• B12 deficient people seem to need higher concentrations of B12 in the blood in order to make use of it in the body’s cells
What you CAN DO
• Take extra care to guard against infection. Keep your distance. Wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) like a mask over your mouth and nose (washed regularly), gloves that you change or wash regularly, and so on
• Take oral supplements. B12 needs a good balance of other vitamins and minerals to work well, so I take a multivitamin/multimineral one-a-day tablet which tops up my Vitamin D, Magnesium and Potassium. However these tablets only have 50mcg of B12 so you will probably need more. Buy methylcobalamin 1000mcg (usually)
• Consider self-injecting at home. Check websites for sources