A Facial Sign Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Ulcers around the mouth can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency, research suggests.

The small lesions around the mouth are sometimes known as canker sores.

They can also occur inside the mouth and may make eating painful.

Other, more common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency include feeling tired, experiencing muscle weakness and being constipated.

The conclusions about mouth ulcers come from a study including 58 people who had recurrent mouth ulcers.

Around half of the participants were given B12 supplementation and they were compared to a control group.

The results showed that three-quarters of people were free of ulcers after taking B12 and most saw a reduction in pain.

The authors explain the results:

“The average outbreak duration and the average number of ulcers per month decreased in both groups during the first four months of the trial.

However, the duration of outbreaks, the number of ulcers, and the level of pain were reduced significantly at five and six months of treatment with vitamin B12, regardless of initial vitamin B12 levels in the blood.

During the last month of treatment a significant number of participants in the intervention group reached ‘no aphthous ulcers status’”

Good dietary sources of vitamin B12 include fish, poultry, eggs and low-fat milk.

Fortified breakfast cereals also contain vitamin B12.

People who may have difficulty getting enough vitamin B12 include vegetarians, older people and those with some digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease.

Dr Ilia Volkov, the study’s first author, said:

“…the frequency of RAS [Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis, or mouth ulcers] is as much as 25 percent in the general population, however, until now, there has been no optimal therapeutic approach.”

The study was published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (Volkov et al., 2009).

An Obvious Sign of Vitamin D Deficiency

Levels are typically lower in the body through the winter months in northern latitudes.

Levels are typically lower in the body through the winter months in northern latitudes.

Depression symptoms like energy loss, concentration problems and lack of pleasure can be signs of vitamin D deficiency, research finds.

Around half of the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D.

Most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

That is why levels are typically lower in the body through the winter months in northern latitudes.

The study included 1,282 older people, some of whom were depressed.

The results showed that blood vitamin D levels were 14 percent lower in those with both minor and major depression.

The study’s authors write:

“Underlying causes of vitamin D deficiency such as less sun exposure as a result of decreased outdoor activity, different housing or clothing habits and decreased vitamin intake may be secondary to depression, but depression may also be the consequence of poor vitamin D status.

Moreover, poor vitamin D status causes an increase in serum parathyroid hormone levels.”

The scientists found that almost half the people in the study were deficient in vitamin D.

The authors write:

“…38.8 percent of men and 56.9 percent of women in our community-based cohort had an insufficient vitamin D status.”

Vitamin D is found in oily fish, egg yolks, fortified cereals and some margarine spreads.

Most people need around 10 micrograms per day, which can also be obtained from supplements.

The study was published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry (Hoogendijk et al., 2008).

Why People Prefer Ultra-Processed Foods — Surprisingly, It’s Not The Taste

The study challenges the assumption that ultra-processed foods are ‘hyperpalatable’ — they are not.

The study challenges the assumption that ultra-processed foods are ‘hyperpalatable’ — they are not.

Surprisingly, ultra-processed foods taste no better than unprocessed or minimally processed foods.

Instead, it is the ratio of carbohydrate-to-fat that is the key determinate of how pleasant a food tastes, a study suggests.

The researchers wanted to know if level of processing, carbohydrate-to-fat ratio, and higher energy density (calories) have any influence on the desirability and liking of a food.

Taste perceptions

The team compared the taste perception of highly processed foods with less processed foods among 224 women and men.

Images of 32 familiar foods were shown to participants and they were asked to rate the foods for sweetness, flavour intensity, saltiness, desire to eat, and pleasantness.

They found that neither level of processing nor high calorie foods scored higher on desire to eat (food reward) and liking (pleasantness).

However, foods that combined more equal amounts (in calories) of carbohydrate and fat, and foods tasting more intense were rated higher on both liking and desire to eat.

These findings back up the theory that humans are naturally designed to like foods with more equal amounts of fat and carbohydrate since fat is the highest source of energy and carbohydrate is the largest portion of our diets.

The results also show that less desirable foods were high in fibre, but foods with more intense taste — mainly due to their sweetness, saltiness, or savouriness (umami) — were rated high for pleasantness and desire to eat.

Professor Peter Rogers, the study’s first author, said:

“Our results challenge the assumption that ultra-processed foods are ‘hyperpalatable,’ and it seems odd that this has not been directly tested before.

However, while ultra-processing didn’t reliably predict liking (palatability) in our study, food carbohydrate-to-fat ratio, food fiber content, and taste intensity did—actually, together, these three characteristics accounted for more than half of the variability in liking across the foods we tested.

The results for sweetness and saltiness, are consistent with our innate liking for sweetness and saltiness.

And the results for carbohydrate-to-fat ratio and fiber might be related to another important characteristic that determines food liking.

Our suggestion is that humans are programmed to learn to like foods with more equal amounts of carbohydrate and fat, and lower amounts of fiber, because those foods are less filling per calorie.

In other words, we value calories over fullness.

In turn, this trait helps us to maximize calorie intake and build up fat reserves when food is abundant—which is adaptive in circumstances when food supplies are uncertain or fluctuate seasonally, but not when food is continuously available in excess of our immediate needs.”


The study was published in the journal Appetite (Rogers et al., 2023).

Red Wine Headaches Explained: This Flavonoid Could Be To Blame

The flavonoid interferes with the metabolism of alcohol.

The flavonoid interferes with the metabolism of alcohol.

The intense hangover after drinking large amounts of alcohol is related to genetics, metabolism of alcohol (ethanol), sulphites, and congeners (compounds created by ethanol fermentation).

But wine products also contain other substances including tannins and histamine that can trigger headaches.

But when it comes to the “red wine headache” phenomena, there might be a different explanation.


Scientists think there must be other reasons that some people who are not heavy drinkers experience red wine headaches.

These headaches can occur 30 minutes to three hours after drinking a small glass of red wine.

Researchers came up with a theory that an antioxidant called quercetin may trigger headaches by interfering with the metabolism of alcohol.

That makes sense since quercetin levels are much higher in red wine than other alcoholic drinks, including white wine.

Professor Andrew Waterhouse, the study’s senior author, explains how this healthy flavonoid interferes with alcohol:

“When it gets in your bloodstream, your body converts it to a different form called quercetin glucuronide.

In that form, it blocks the metabolism of alcohol.”

Toxin acetaldehyde

Ethanol is converted to toxic acetaldehyde in the body and than is metabolized by the ALDH2 enzyme to acetate.

If this fails than the acetaldehyde toxin would build up in the body causing symptoms such as headache, nausea, facial flushing, and excessive sweating.

Ms Apramita Devi, the study’s first author, said:

“Acetaldehyde is a well-known toxin, irritant and inflammatory substance.

Researchers know that high levels of acetaldehyde can cause facial flushing, headache and nausea.”

Nearly half of East Asian population experience these symptoms after a drink because their enzyme doesn’t work properly and so toxins builds up in their body.

Alcoholics who take drugs such disulfiram to overcome drinking also experience similar symptoms because the medication blocks the enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde.

This study suggests that quercetin produces similar adverse effects by blocking ALDH2 which would result in accumulation of the toxin.

Professor Morris Levin, study co-author, said:

“We postulate that when susceptible people consume wine with even modest amounts of quercetin, they develop headaches, particularly if they have a preexisting migraine or another primary headache condition.”

Grapes and the sunshine

The higher the exposure to sunlight, the more flavanol in red grapes.

Normally red wines with better quality are produced from grapes that are grown with care and in sunnier climates.

Therefore, these type of grapes contain greater levels of quercetin.

The levels are also influenced by the process of wine making such as removing unwanted material known as fining, skin contact during fermentation, and aging.

Professor Waterhouse said:

“Quercetin is produced by the grapes in response to sunlight.

“If you grow grapes with the clusters exposed, such as they do in the Napa Valley for their cabernets, you get much higher levels of quercetin.

In some cases, it can be four to five times higher.”


The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports (Devi et al., 2023).

2 Antioxidant Vitamins Reduce Vascular Dementia Risk By 88%

Cognitive performance is improved by taking these antioxidant vitamins regularly over the years.

Cognitive performance is improved by taking these antioxidant vitamins regularly over the years.

Antioxidants vitamin C and E may help to protect against some forms of dementia and improve cognitive performance over the lifespan, a study finds.

The research on over 3,000 Japanese-American men found that those taking vitamin C and E supplements regularly — at least once per week — were 88 percent less likely to have vascular dementia four years later.

Vascular dementia is the second most common from of dementia in the US, after Alzheimer’s disease.

The study also found that the men were 69 percent less likely to have other forms of dementia, apart from Alzheimer’s.

Dr Kamal Masaki, the study’s first author, said:

“We believe antioxidants like vitamin E and C may protect against vascular dementia by limiting the amount of brain damage that persists after a stroke.

The supplements may also play a role in providing protection against brain cell and membrane injury involved in many aging-related diseases, thus resulting in significantly higher scores on mental performance tests in later life.”

The Honolulu-based study also found that men taking the supplements had a 75 percent better chance of improved cognitive performance in later life.

However, the beneficial effect was not through the reduction in risk of stroke, Dr Masaki explained:

“We originally thought that the beneficial impact antioxidant vitamin supplements had against vascular dementia was the prevention of stroke.

However, to our surprise we found there was not a significant association between vitamin supplement use and clinically recognized stroke.”

Researchers did not find a protective effect of vitamin C and E supplementation on Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Masaki said:

“It is critically important for patients to practice preventive efforts shown to lower stroke risk and to have broad ranging beneficial effects.

More effective strategies for prevention also must be found.

Therefore, a prevention trial of both vitamin E and C to further examine the potential protective effects on both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is needed.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Masaki et al., 2000).

5 Foods Science Says Will Help You Live Longer

The foods that help you live longer and protect you from cancer and heart disease.

The foods that help you live longer and protect you from cancer and heart disease.

Drinking tea and eating apples, or any flavonoid-rich foods, can shield people from cancer and heart disease, research finds.

People who have a daily consumption of 500 mg of flavonoids are more likely to live longer and more healthily.

If you eat one orange, one apple, 100 g of broccoli and 100 g of blueberries and have a cup of tea per day, you are guaranteed to obtain 500 mg of flavonoids.

Flavonoids are antioxidants and part of the polyphenol class found in plants and known to have several health benefits and help prevent various diseases.

Apples, cherries, dark chocolate, pears, tea, red wine (due to grapes), cabbage, and berries, including blueberries and strawberries, are good sources of flavonoids.

The discovery of flavonoids’ protective effect on lowering risk of some diseases comes from a new study that looked into the diets of 53,048 Danes over 23 years.

Dr Nicola Bondonno, the study’s lead author, said:

“It’s important to consume a variety of different flavonoid compounds found in different plant based food and drink.

This is easily achievable through the diet: one cup of tea, one apple, one orange, 100g of blueberries, and 100g of broccoli would provide a wide range of flavonoid compounds and over 500mg of total flavonoids”.

They found that those who ate flavonoid-rich foods were protected against cardiovascular and cancer-related diseases.

They also found that daily intake of flavonoid-rich foods had the most protective effect for heavy drinkers and smokers.

These smokers or those who had two standard alcoholic drinks per day were at higher risk of chronic diseases.

The reason is that smoking and alcohol intake can harm blood vessels and cause inflammation to the cells, leading to greater risk of serious diseases.

The potential health benefits of flavonoids are related to their antioxidants having anti-inflammatory effects and their ability to improve blood vessel function.

This may explain why the smokers and drinkers benefited strongly from foods rich in flavonoids.

Dr Bondonno said:

“It’s also important to note that flavonoid consumption does not counteract all of the increased risk of death caused by smoking and high alcohol consumption.

By far the best thing to do for your health is to quit smoking and cut down on alcohol.

We know these kind of lifestyle changes can be very challenging, so encouraging flavonoid consumption might be a novel way to alleviate the increased risk, while also encouraging people to quit smoking and reduce their alcohol intake.”

The study was published in Nature Communications (Bondonnoet al., 2019).

A Strange Sensation That Could Be A Sign Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Many people experience this unusual sensation even with both feet firmly on the ground.

Many people experience this unusual sensation even with both feet firmly on the ground.

A sudden sensation of dizziness, or that your head is spinning could be a sign of vitamin D deficiency.

It is a symptom of a common type of vertigo called paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Other symptoms include nausea and vomiting, as well as a loss of balance.

However, taking vitamin D and calcium supplements twice a day can reduce the chance of experiencing vertigo, research finds.

The people who are most deficient in vitamin D get the most benefit from it.

Technically, vertigo is the symptom of dizziness and the feeling of the world spinning — it does not have to be in response to heights.

Many people experience vertigo with both feet firmly on the ground.

The condition is rarely serious, but can be very irritating, with 86 percent of sufferers reporting that it interrupts their daily life and leads to some days off work.

Now, research finds that taking vitamin D and calcium supplements can prevent it recurring.

Dr Ji-Soo Kim, study co-author, said:

“Our study suggests that for people with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, taking a supplement of vitamin D and calcium is a simple, low-risk way to prevent vertigo from recurring.

It is especially effective if you have low vitamin D levels to begin with.”

The study included almost one thousand people, around half of whom were given vitamin D supplements and calcium.

People with low vitamin D levels took 400 IU of vitamin D and 500 mg of calcium twice a day.

The results showed that the supplements reduced the recurrence of vertigo by 24 percent.

People who were more deficient in vitamin D got greater benefit from taking the supplements, seeing a 45 percent reduction in symptoms.

Dr Kim said:

“Our results are exciting because so far, going to the doctor to have them perform head movements has been the main way we treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

Our study suggests an inexpensive, low-risk treatment like vitamin D and calcium tablets may be effective at preventing this common, and commonly recurring, disorder.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Jeong et al., 2020).

The Common Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in winter.

Vitamin D deficiency is more common in winter.

Tiredness, depression and weak muscles can all be signs of vitamin D deficiency.

Depression risk is raised by vitamin D deficiency, according to one study.

This may be because of the role that vitamin D plays in regulating serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter important for mood.

Similarly, poor sleep and headaches can also be signs of the deficiency.

The current recommendations for vitamin D intake by the National Academy of Medicine are 600 IU per day for adults.

Foods that are rich in vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.

Sufficient levels of vitamin D3 can help to restore the cardiovascular system, repairing damage done by diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

The conclusions come from a study that examined the impact of vitamin D3 on a vital component of the cardiovascular system, endothelial cells.

Professor Tadeusz Malinski, study co-author, said:

“Generally, Vitamin D3 is associated with the bones. However, in recent years, in clinical settings people recognize that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D3.

It doesn’t mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack, but it increased the risk of heart attack.

We use nanosensors to see why Vitamin D3 can be beneficial, especially for the function and restoration of the cardiovascular system.”

The results showed that vitamin D3 can help to prevent blood clots and reduce oxidative stress in the cardiovascular system.

Getting sufficient levels of vitamin D could help to reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Professor Malinski said:

“There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and Vitamin D3 can do it.

This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system.

We don’t have to develop a new drug.

We already have it.”

The study was published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine (Khan et al., 2018).

The Vitamin Deficiency Linked To Brain Damage

Brain shrinkage was six times more likely in those with low levels of this vitamin.

Brain shrinkage was six times more likely in those with low levels of this vitamin.

Vitamin B12 may protect against brain shrinkage with age, research finds.

People with higher vitamin B12 levels were six times less likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vitamin B12 levels can be boosted through supplementation or by eating foods such as dairy, liver, salmon and eggs.

Fortified breakfast cereals also contain vitamin B12.

Around one-in-four people may have a vitamin B12 deficiency — however none of the people in the study were deficient.

People who may have difficult getting enough vitamin B12 include vegetarians, older people and those with some digestive disorders, such as Crohn’s disease.

The study included 107 older people who had brain scans, memory testing and their blood levels were checked for vitamin B12 levels.

Dr Anna Vogiatzoglou, the study’s first author, said:

“Many factors that affect brain health are thought to be out of our control, but this study suggests that simply adjusting our diets to consume more vitamin B12 through eating meat, fish, fortified cereals or milk may be something we can easily adjust to prevent brain shrinkage and so perhaps save our memory.

Research shows that vitamin B12 deficiency is a public health problem, especially among the elderly, so more vitamin B12 intake could help reverse this problem.

Without carrying out a clinical trial, we acknowledge that it is still not known whether B12 supplementation would actually make a difference in elderly persons at risk for brain shrinkage.”

Vitamin B12 is involved in the production of red blood cells.

A deficiency — which is more frequent in those over 60 — can cause anemia, which is a lack of red blood cells.

Dr Vogiatzoglou continued:

“Previous research on the vitamin has had mixed results and few studies have been done specifically with brain scans in elderly populations.

We tested for vitamin B12 levels in a unique, more accurate way by looking at two certain markers for it in the blood.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Vogiatzoglou, et al., 2008).

The Common Signs Of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D supplementation could lower the risk of dying from cancer-related diseases and increase life expectancy by years.

Vitamin D supplementation could lower the risk of dying from cancer-related diseases and increase life expectancy by years.

Tiredness and weak muscles can be signs of vitamin D deficiency, as can headaches and poor sleep.

Taking vitamin D can reduce cancer mortality rates by 13 percent with 30,000 fewer cancer-related deaths each year, according to a German study.

Based on their national data on cancer mortality in 2016, vitamin D supplementation could significantly lower cancer deaths in adults over age 50.

They say if all these middle-aged Germans took vitamin D, nearly 30,000 premature deaths from cancer could be prevented and 300,000 years of life could be saved.

In recent years scientists have been looking into the effect of vitamin D on several conditions such as diabetes, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and respiratory illnesses.

Reviews of large clinical trials show that vitamin D supplementation is linked to a 13 percent reduction in the cancer death rate.

Dr Hermann Brenner, the study’s co-author, said:

“In many countries around the world, the age-adjusted rate of cancer mortality has fortunately declined over the past decade.

However, given the often considerable costs of many new cancer drugs, this success has often come at a high price.

Vitamin D, on the other hand, is comparatively inexpensive in the usual daily doses.”

Older people are commonly found to have vitamin D deficiency, particularly those with cancer.

In 2016, the number of people over-50 in Germany was about 36 million.

The research team calculated that the treatment cost of vitamin D supplementation at a 1,000 international units daily dose would cost 25 euros per person a year.

Considering its health benefits, the cost for the health care system would be practically nothing after all.

Dr Brenner, said:

“In view of the potentially significant positive effects on cancer mortality — additionally combined with a possible cost saving — we should look for new ways to reduce the widespread vitamin D deficiency in the elderly population in Germany.

In some countries, foods have even been enriched with vitamin D for many years — for example, in Finland, where cancer mortality rates are about 20 percent lower than in Germany.

Not to mention that there is mounting evidence of other positive health effects of adequate vitamin D supply, such as in lung disease mortality rates.

Finally, we consider vitamin D supplementation so safe that we even recommend it for newborn babies to develop healthy bones.”

We can all improve our vitamin D levels at no cost by exposure to sunlight everyday.

The German Cancer Research Centre recommends three times a week for at least 12 minutes outside in the sun.

During this period of time the face, hands, arms and legs should be left uncovered without wearing sunscreen.

The study was published in the journal Molecular Oncology (Niedermaier et al., 2021).

Get free email updates

Join the free PsyBlog mailing list. No spam, ever.