Re Post: Covid-19 symptoms, and low vitamin B12
I am writing to the BMJ because I think there is an important subject ignored by doctors in the treatment of Covid-19. The symptoms of post-covid-19 patients are much the same as that of Vitamin B12 deficiency. (Notes 1 and 2). There are a number of reasons this could be a factor in the poor health of these patients. If Nitrous Oxide is used in an induced coma, it lowers B12 significantly, especially if used for a prolonged period. (Notes 3 and 4). The patient is not getting adequate nutrition during this time and is under great stress, both reasons for heavy use by the body of B12. This could also explain why BAME patients fair worse. Many of these people are vegetarian, not eating meat to replenish B12 stocks.
If a comparison of symptoms is done between B12 deficiency and post covid-19 problems, there is quite an overlap. (Notes 5 and 6).
As B12 is very safe, I would think it would be useful to try injecting B12 into patients seriously ill with covid-19, probably daily.
I confess I am not a doctor, but a retired nurse with a science degree, but feel something so simple, safe, and cheap could be well worth a try.
1) JAMA Persistent Symptoms in patients after acute Covid-19 July 9th, 2020
2) ucl.ac.uk. Delirium, rare brain inflammation and stroke linked to Covid-19. 8th July 2020
3) British Journal of Anaesthesia Vol 99 Issue 6 Dec 2007 p 812-818 . Impaired B12 metabolic status in healthcare workers occupationally exposed to Nitrous Oxide.
4) Medscape Can Nitric Oxide Prevent Covid-19 infection or progression
5) nhs.uk. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Competing interests: No competing interests