Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Breast Cancer: What’s the Risk? | One Radio Network (2023)

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Breast Cancer: What’s the Risk?

December 29th, 2022

ByTy and Charlene Bollinger

Guest Writers forWake Up World

Recent studies show that one in four adults in the United States are B12 deficient. Research also shows that vitamin B12 deficiency may be directly linked to greater risk of certain cancers. B12 comes mostly from animal products. The United States is a country of meat-eaters, sowhy are so many of us deficient in this essential nutrient?

What B12 Does in the Body

B12, also known ascobalamin, is essential for the formation ofmyelin, a protective substance which helps nerve cells communicate with one another. B12 is sometimes called the “energy vitamin” because one of its most important functions is to aid in digestion, food absorption, and metabolism of both fat and carbohydrates.

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Vitamin B12 also helps in the absorption of iron, in nervous system function and growth, and in the formation of red blood cells. It is necessary for proper adrenal hormone production, and forneurological (i.e. brain) health. It is also vital for immune system function and reproductive health.

Are You at Risk for aVitamin B12 Deficiency?

As stated before, B12 is obtained mainly from animal sources such as beef, chicken, some kinds of fish, lamb, and eggs. For this reason, it makes sense that B12 deficiency would be common amongst vegans and vegetarians. But it’snot just those who don’t eat meat who are at risk of becoming low in B12. There are many reasons why a person may be suffering from B12malabsorptioneven if they eat meat.

See if any of these conditions apply to you:

  • You are over 50
  • You take medications such as antacids, Metformin© (for Type 2 diabetes), or other drugs which are known to deplete B12 in the body
  • You are a regular coffee drinker (more than 3 cups a day)
  • You have had a bacterial infection such as H. pylori
  • You have intestinal disturbances or weak digestion

Intrinsic Factor and Pernicious Anemia

Weakness and imbalance in the digestive system(such as IBS, Leaky Gut, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, food sensitivities, Celiac disease, and general inflammation) affects an estimated 60 to 70 million people in the Unites States, according to 2010 statistics. A weak gut alone may account for the majority of challenges people have with B12 absorption.

Given the nature of the B12 molecule, this makes perfect sense.As a large molecule, B12 requires a “binding agent” to be absorbed into the system.

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Intrinsic Factoris produced in the lining of the stomach. It binds with B12 and helps to move it through the small intestine. Many individuals who have imbalances in their digestive system have lower than normal production of Intrinsic Factor. In fact,Pernicious Anemia, which is an autoimmune condition that develops through a lack of Intrinsic Factor production, is the leading cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK.

To make matters more complicated, many people may not know that they are B12 deficient until it is too late. This is becauseB12 cannot be eliminated through urine, like other B vitamins. Instead, what cannot be absorbed gets stored in theliver, kidneys, and other tissues. Because of this, a B12 deficiency may not show up for several years.

The Link Between Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Breast Cancer

The main connection between B12 deficiency and cancer is the role this essential nutrient plays in DNA synthesis. Receiving adequate levels of B12 (as well as folic acid) can help keep yourgenes freshand rejuvenated.Without B12 and folate, DNA can eventually break down to the point where mutations ? and cancer ? can occur.

B12 deficiency has been connected tobreast cancerin particular. B12, as well as folate, is needed for cellular methylation. Methylation is the process of chemical conversion in the body (similar to a spark plug in a car) and is essential to almost every function in the body.

When cellular methylation does not occur or the mechanisms of methylation are off in some way, healthy genes get “turned off,” while unhealthy ones get “turned on.” Research over the last ten years has confirmed that cancer cells have abnormal methylation processes compared to healthy cells. Healthy methylation pathways can also assist in changingaggressive estrogens(i.e. Xeno-estrogens) into milder estrogens, which can significantly lower breast cancer risk.

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A study conducted in younger adults and men also showed that B12 deficiency can lead to higher risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Decreased B12 in the blood equated to increased levels of homocysteine, which are both biomarkers for white blood cell chromosome breakage. These biomarkers (as seen in the young adults) were improved with B12 and folatesupplementation.

What You Can Do to Prevent a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

The first step in remedying a possible B12 deficiency is to recognize the tell-tale signs. Consider if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • “Brain fog,” memory issues, lack of motivation or prolonged feelings of apathy
  • Mood swings and grouchiness
  • Fatigue/ low energy
  • Tingling in the extremities
  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression,dementia, blindness or brain damage (in the cases of extreme depletion)

The next step for many suspected nutritional deficiencies would be to get tested. That is definitely one way to go when it comes to B12. But testing for this deficiency is often difficult since the concentrations of B12 discovered in the blood at a given time may not necessarily correlate to absorption rates in the system overall.

The easiest thing to do if you have any of the symptoms above is to simply begin B12 supplementation and see if your symptoms improve. You can up your consumption of healthy, farm-raised eggs. You can also use a quality B12 in tablet form or, even better, a spray form that you apply directly into your mouth. Recall that B12 is a large molecule that is difficult to absorb for many people. By using a spray, you are ingesting a condensed version of B12 that is easier to absorb.

B12 deficiency could potentially be a dangerous health condition which can not only raise your risk of cancer, but can lead to neurological damage, anemia, heart conditions, and other complications.If you suspect you may be deficient, don’t take chances. Begin supplementation right away. You can also improve your B12 absorption over time bytaking measures to improve your gut function.

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Of course, nurturing your gut health will not only lead to better B12 absorption, but a more vibrant, energetic and cancer-free body overall!

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Breast Cancer: What’s the Risk? | One Radio Network (1)

Sources and References:

Originally published atThe Truth About Cancerand reproduced here with permission.

About the author:

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Ty Bollinger is a health freedom advocate, cancer researcher, former competitive bodybuilder and author. After losing several family members to cancer, he refused to accept the notion that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery were the most effective treatments available for cancer patients. He began a quest to learn all he possibly could about alternative cancer treatments and the medical industry. What he uncovered was shocking. There is ample evidence to support the allegation that the “war on cancer” is largely a fraud and that multinational pharmaceutical companies are “running the show.” Ty has now made it his life mission to share the most remarkable discovery he made on his quest: the vast majority of all diseases, including cancer, can be easily prevented and even cured without drugs or surgery.

For more information, visit:


Can breast cancer be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency? ›

A prospective epidemiologic study found a threshold level for serum vitamin B12, below which an increased risk of breast cancer among postmeno-pausal women was observed.

Which vitamin is highly linked with breast cancer occurrence? ›

Vitamin A and beta-carotene

Moorman et al [43] found that any use of supplemental vitamin A can increase the risk of breast cancer (OR = 1.86; 95% CI: 1.00–3.48).

Which group is at greatest risk for B12 deficiency? ›

According to an analysis of NHANES data from 2015–2016, people of low socioeconomic status, women, and non-Hispanic Blacks are most likely to have low vitamin B12 intakes [32].

What does vitamin B12 do to cancer? ›

Cancer prevention

Studies are mixed on whether vitamin B12 in combination with folate and B6 can reduce cancer risk, and it may increase risk of lung or colorectal cancers. Additional studies are needed to determine how vitamin B12 levels may affect cancer risk.

What vitamins should I avoid with breast cancer? ›

Patients who took antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and E as well as carotenoids and coenzyme Q10, both before and during chemotherapy were more likely to have a recurrence. Those who took vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements were at significantly greater risk for recurrence and death.

What are the best vitamins to take if you have breast cancer? ›

Selenium, folic acid and probiotics have been found to be safe for use during chemotherapy treatment. However, these supplements still have potential side effects.

What is the greatest cause of breast cancer? ›

Getting older is the most significant risk for developing breast cancer. Most breast cancers (80%) occur in women over the age of 50. And the older you are, the higher your risk.

What hormone does breast cancer feed on? ›

Are your cancer cells fueled by hormones? Some breast cancers are sensitive to your body's naturally occurring female hormones — estrogen and progesterone. The breast cancer cells have receptors on the outside of their walls that can catch specific hormones that circulate through your body.

What supplements are linked to breast cancer? ›

Patients taking vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acid supplements were at significantly greater risk of breast cancer recurrence and death.

What disease is associated with a deficiency of B12? ›

Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia can cause a wide range of symptoms. These usually develop gradually, but can worsen if the condition goes untreated. Anaemia is where you have fewer red blood cells than normal or you have an abnormally low amount of a substance called haemoglobin in each red blood cell.

What is the root cause of B12 deficiency? ›

Some people can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of not getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet. A diet that includes meat, fish and dairy products usually provides enough vitamin B12, but people who do not regularly eat these foods can become deficient.

What are the two main causes of B12 deficiency? ›

Vitamin deficiency anemia is a lack of healthy red blood cells caused by lower than usual amounts of vitamin B-12 and folate. This can happen if you don't eat enough foods containing vitamin B-12 and folate, or if your body has trouble absorbing or processing these vitamins.

Should you take B12 if you have cancer? ›

Study findings:

The study enrolled male and female breast cancer patients diagnosed at stages 1-3. Among participants undergoing chemotherapy (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel): Use of vitamin B12 both before and during chemotherapy was related to poorer disease-free survival and overall survival.

What vitamin has been linked to cancer? ›

Beta-carotene and vitamin E supplementation increase risk of lung, stomach, prostate cancer, and colorectal adenoma and overall mortality in the general population.

Is B12 a tumor marker? ›

Our study is in comply with studies indicating that vitamin B12 can be used as tumor marker as in our study indicates that vitamin B12 is significantly high for the patients with HCC compared to control group and patients with cirrhosis.

Does vitamin D increase risk of breast cancer? ›

Research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for good bone health.

What causes estrogen positive breast cancer? ›

Lifetime exposure: Females with a longer lifetime exposure to estrogen and progesterone may have a higher risk of developing hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. This includes people who: start menstruating early. reach menopause late.

What diseases can B12 deficiency be attributed to? ›

Nervous system disorders.

Untreated, vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to neurological problems, such as persistent tingling in the hands and feet or problems with balance. It can lead to mental confusion and forgetfulness because vitamin B-12 is necessary for healthy brain function.

Which vitamin deficiency can cause cancer? ›

Folate (THF), B6 or B12 deficiencies have all been associated with cancer. Cellular depletion of any of these vitamins can induce DNA damage by causing deoxyuridine (dUTP), instead of deoxythymidine (dTTP), to be incorporated into DNA.

What damage can B12 deficiency cause? ›

If you have low vitamin B12 level for a long time, you can have nerve damage. Symptoms of nerve damage include: Confusion or change in mental status (dementia) in severe cases. Problems concentrating.

What health problem is connected to a deficiency in B12? ›

Key points about vitamin B12 deficiency anemia

Without enough red blood cells, your tissues and organs don't get enough oxygen. Without enough oxygen, your body can't work as well. Symptoms include weak muscles, numbness, trouble walking, nausea, weight loss, irritability, fatigue, and increased heart rate.


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