The Link Between Vitamin B12 and Long-Term Mental Health

B12 Integrative Medicine ABOIMIntegrative medicine is a medical specialty that is dedicated to utilizing the wisdom of all global healing traditions.. Physicians who practice integrative medicine have dedicated their careers to identifying the best possible treatments to help not only cure their patients of various diseases, but also improve their overall wellbeing to hopefully prevent these illnesses from developing in the first place.

Consider a recent study on the relationship between decreased levels of vitamin B12 in the brain and aging, autism, and schizophrenia. Previous studies have concluded that vitamin B12 is important for brain development and function, but as Mimi Guarneri, MD, a founding member of the American Board of Integrative Medicine® (ABOIM®), explains in a newsletter from the Academy of Integrative and Holistic Medicine (AIHM), this study was the first to “attempt to identify pathologically reduced levels of (vitamin B12 enzymes) in the brains of subjects who experienced autism and schizophrenia.” The potential ramifications of studies like this one are significant, and speak to the essential role that vitamins play in a person’s health. Vitamin B12 is particularly fascinating, as it doesn’t occur naturally in the body – as Dr. Guarneri explains, it must be obtained by “animal source foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, fish, fortified foods or by nutritional supplement.”

This landmark study suggests that vitamin B12 deficits “may be a critical pathological component of (autism and schizophrenia), as well as other neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions.”

For those who practice Integrative Medicine, establishing a clear relationship between a healthy diet and higher cognitive brain function has significant ramifications. This isn’t to say that a vitamin B12 deficiency is the only factor that contributes to the onset of dementia, autism, and other conditions. However, it strongly suggests that eating well, taking care of yourself, and taking vitamin supplements can benefit your long-term health.

The ABOIM was established to enable Integrative Medicine physicians with the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the core concepts and competencies that define the specialty. This community of like-minded physician leaders works together to advance the specialty, better understand the factors that contribute to healthy living, and improve the quality of healthcare overall. To learn more about the ABOIM, contact the American Board of Physician Specialties® today at 813-433-2277.

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On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
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Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
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Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine