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I've just read an article about the potential dangers of taking vitamin B12 supplements by people with MS. I asked the author whether taking B12 was recommended and the answer I received is below:

"Hi Katy~Research has shown a greatly increased risk of disease from vitamin B12 supplementation. Here is some info from our book on this.

"The absorption of vitamin B12 is an amazingly complex process. A recent study from Norway may be an indication that it might be best if we don’t interfere with this process by taking vitamin B12 supplements.

In the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers found that supplementation with vitamin B12 and folic acid increased the risk of being diagnosed with cancer, of dying from cancer, and of dying from any cause.

Here are the numbers:
“The study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial in which nearly 7,000 adults in Norway were randomly selected to take one of the following:

• 0.8 mg of folic acid + 0.4 mg of vitamin B12 + 40 mg vitamin B6 per day
• 0.8 mg of folic acid + 0.4 mg of vitamin B12 per day
• 40 mg vitamin B6 per day
• placebo (no vitamins)

Double-blind means that neither the researchers nor the study participants knew who was taking which vitamins or the placebo. Randomized means that people were selected at random for each vitamin (or placebo) group. This type of study is considered “the gold standard” of research designs, because it is most likely to show results accurately, without errors that can happen with other study designs.

Study participants were followed for a median (similar to average) of approximately six and a half years (39 months of active study participation plus 38 months of post-study observation). The study showed that compared with people not receiving folic acid and vitamin B12, those who took these vitamins had:

• 21% higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer (any type)
• 38% higher risk of dying of cancer (any type)
• 18% higher risk of dying of any cause
Taking vitamin B6 did not have any measurable effects (good or bad) on the health of the study participants” (Dixon, 2009).

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for the division of all cells, but rapidly dividing cancer cells, in particular, require vitamin B12 to sustain their rapid growth. Consequently, the receptors involved in the uptake of vitamin B12 are overexpressed on the cancer cell surface (Russell-Jones, 2004). Armed with this knowledge, pharmaceutical companies are actually designing new drugs that use supplemental vitamin B12 as the transport mechanism to deliver cytotoxic agents to cancerous tumors, as the following study confirms.

Crit Rev Ther Drug Carrier Syst. 2008;25(4):347-79.
Vitamin B12-mediated transport: a potential tool for tumor targeting of antineoplastic drugs and imaging agents.
Gupta Y, Kohli DV, Jain SK.

“…The receptor for vitamin B12 is overexpressed on a number of human tumors, including cancers of the ovary, kidney, uterus, testis, brain, colon, lung, and myelocytic blood cells…This review summarizes the applications of vitamin B12 as a targeting ligand and highlights the various methods being developed for delivery of therapeutic and imaging agents to cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. This review reflects the potentiality of vitamin B12 for tumor targeting of chemotherapeutic and diagnostic agent.”

There is no need to risk causing yourself further harm. You can address this completely and effectively through diet and lifestyle changes."

So, does anyone have any further knowledge or advice about this please?
It is important when evaluating a research study such as this, not to read it in isolation.

There is a detailed explanation of exactly how a theory becomes a scientifically robust recommendation How Theories Become Recommendations on pages 3 and 4 of the Recovery Program Summary:
http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis. ... Code=11098

Professor Jelinek reviewed all of the relevant scientific studies when formulating the OMS recommendations, including those on Vitamin B12 supplementation. He continues to do that, and if there was any valid reason to change any of the recommendations, we will be informed of that very promptly.

The Vitamin B12 recommendations remain unchanged ie people with MS on vegan diets like the one recommended here really should be taking regular vitamin B12 tablets, of the order of 250 to 1,000 micrograms per week. You can read the section on Vitamin B12 here:
http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis. ... pplements/
That info mentions B12 & folic acid together. There is growing medical resistance against folic acid (synthetic) as it adversely affects many people. Folinic acid is better.

Long term B12 deficiency can appear like ms. Take B12 in sublingual form as it absorbs better through yr gums.

If you follow the OMS lifestyle you're less likely to get cancer
Hi everyone!
I have read the recommendations on taking Vit. B12, but since I'm a complete vegan (no seafood), it means taking up significantly less B12 through food, I think I should increase supplementation accordingly.
I was diagnosed with b12 deficiency in early 2013, I had elevated homocysteine​​, due to long-standing vegetarian diet without supplementation with B vitamins. For this reason, I received B12 injections, now I'm just taking supplements. I take 500 or 1000 mcg methylcobalamin a day, which is significantly more than the OMS recommendations.

I'm a complete vegan because I can't start taking seafood again after so many years, I've tried, but it has caused me considerable psychological distress so I gave up.

Are there any recommendations about taking supplements of B vitamins, especially B12 for complete vegan? :)

I thought vitamin b supplementation is safe, but now I'm worried about the increased risk of cancer ... and who knows what else. :?
I'm a follower of the work of Dr Kingsley and his work on vit b12. Really interesting stuff!
I also need much more vit B12, it is safe so I have no problem keeping my levels up. Common sense should prevail when making these decisions, we are all different.
Dx 1992 OMS 25-2-09
Had an appointment with my new neuro yesterday. He said that being on a vegan diet was dangerous for MS patients because of the B vitamin issue but then he conceded that taking a supplement made it probably OK. At least he didn't say diet and exercise don't matter in MS like my previous neuro...
As far as I know, B12 deficiency is very serious. It causes neurological problems which can be misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis. Sounds like they caught it before it got that far, but it will still take time to reverse any damage. You can find more information by link
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