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We talked a little bit about some environmental exposures that can create nerve damage or neuropathy, and although these are common, they are nowhere near as common as the nutritional causes of neuropathy.
Nutrient Deficiencies that Cause Nerve Damage
All these are deficiency neuropathies unless I specify otherwise, meaning that it’s you not having enough of the nutrient, not a toxicity of the nutrient. There are examples that I’ll give tonight where where a nutrient toxicity could lead to neuropathy, but these are deficiency unless I say otherwise.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a degradation of the brain. It can cause a degradation of the spinal cord and it can manifest as a form of ms multiple sclerosis.
A lot of B vitamins can cause neuropathy.
Folate deficiency can mimic all the things that happen with B12 deficiency. These two have a lot of similar functions and, and play together, so to speak. So folate deficiency can cause the same type of numbness, tingling in the feet or hands or fingers. This is a very, very common deficiency.
B3 deficiency, we’ll call more of a central problem because it leads to cognitive decline. So cognitive function versus numbness and tingling. You might get memory problems or word recall issues. Dementia is a late stage pellagra, which is what vitamin B3 deficiency is.
B6 is unique because B6 deficiency can cause neuropathy, but so can B6 toxicity. If you’ve ever taken too much B6 you may have experienced numbness, tingling, or agitation. If you’re taking high doses of vitamin B6 for long periods of time, then you can run the risk of developing a vitamin B6 neuropathy from a toxicity perspective.
There’s other vitamins, and other minerals that can also contribute to neuropathy. One of them is Vitamin E which has been really well researched as a cause of neuropathy. Another quite common one is copper deficiency.
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