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X Fact
July 31, 2020
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Can You Spot a Person with Vitamin B12 Deficiency at the Airport?

If you see a person standing with their feet planted further apart than usual, it is quite likely that they may have a vitamin B12 deficiency that is affecting a part of the spinal cord (dorsal column) that controls balance. These nerves allow you to stand with your feet together or even walk toe-to-heel. There are many causes for degeneration in these nerves and people who have this learn to keep themselves steady by spreading their feet. Even though 2/3 of vitamin B12 deficient patients develop anemia before neurological signs and symptoms, it is not always the case and early recognition allows treatment with vitamin B12 and a better chance at slowing down or reversing symptoms. Why the airport? This is one of the best places to observe a lot of people while you are delayed or hanging around waiting to board.

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Who Wrote This
Jonathan Bortz MD
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Jonathan’s background as a practicing diabetes specialist for 15 years and 17-year career developing nutritional prescriptive products for the pharmaceutical industry has contributed to his ability to understand nutrients, how they work and why they are important.

Over the years he has acquired broad and in-depth knowledge in minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients, but has special expertise in Vitamin B12 and choline metabolism. He is often asked to speak at national and international venues to articulate why B12, folate and choline are so important to gene function, brain development, liver and cardiovascular health. He applies pharmaceutical standards to nutrient science and has developed a unique ability to translate complicated concepts into simple promotional messages that resonate with practitioners and consumers. He has developed dozens of innovative nutritional products, of which many are category leaders in the US. Jonathan obtained his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa and did his fellowship in Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

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