You may know that thyroid problems are epidemic. But what you haven't heard is that thyroid problems could be related to a simple vitamin deficiency. In fact, a new study shows us just how closely knit they are.

The small study followed 115 patients with autoimmune thyroid disease. This autoimmune disease inflicts damage on your thyroid for reasons that are unclear. Most likely, it's an allergen, infection, or toxin that lodges in your thyroid.

The researchers found that 28% of the people with autoimmune thyroid disease also have very low serum B12 levels. Additionally, 31% of those with low B12 levels had pernicious anemia. That's another autoimmune condition that knocks out your stomach's ability to make acid. Low stomach acid production prevents your body from absorbing B12, leading to a bad form of anemia. It's a vicious cycle.

Action to take: If you have any type of thyroid problem, I suggest that you have your vitamin B12 level checked. If positive, there are simple treatments. In this case, I would recommend B12 shots every two to four weeks. I've also found that oral B12 supplementation works well in pernicious anemia and to correct a deficiency. If you'd rather try the oral form first, you might be able to avoid the injections. I also suggest you take folic acid supplements (800 mcg daily) along with the B12. In recent studies, researchers have found that folic acid can greatly improve your memory.

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Ref: "Prevalence and evaluation of B12 deficiency in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease," Ness-Abramof R, Nabriski DA, et al, Am J Med Sci; 2006; 332(3): 119-22.

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