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Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anaemia and neurological complications. Vitamin B12 is rarely prescribed in the oral form in most countries. Two randomised controlled studies were included in this review. The trials recruited a total of 108 participants and followed up 93 of these from 90 days to four months. The evidence derived from these limited studies suggests that high oral doses of B12 (1000 mcg and 2000 mcg) could be as effective as intramuscular administration in achieving haematological and neurological responses.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

In the economically developed world, folate deficiency is one of the commonest vitamin deficiencies. Several reports suggest a higher prevalence of various psychiatric disorders in elderly people with folate deficiency. There is interest in whether dietary supplements of folic acid (an artificial chemical analogue of naturally occurring folates) can improve cognitive function of people at risk of cognitive decline associated with ageing or dementia, whether by affecting homocysteine metabolism or through other mechanisms. Eight trials met the criteria for inclusion. It was not possible to pool the data because the trials studied different populations, tested folic acid in different doses, and used different outcome measures. There were two trials of folic acid in conjunction with B12. The analysis showed significant benefit of folic acid over placebo in some measures of cognition in a long‐term trial recruiting elderly people with high homocysteine levels from a general population. In one pilot trial, 1 mg/day of folic acid was associated with significant improvement in behavioural response to cholinesterase inhibitors in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining normal function of the nervous system, but the relationship between vitamin B12 and cognitive function is not fully understood. From the three studies involving people with dementia or cognitive impairment and low blood levels of vitamin B12 eligible for inclusion in this review there was no statistically significant effect of vitamin B12 supplementation on cognition. The variety of measurement scales used to assess outcomes and uncertainty about diagnostic criteria for vitamin B12 deficiency create difficulties in pooling the results of trials.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a disorder which results in excessive protein, mainly albumin, loss in urine. DKD is a major cause of kidney failure and cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes. Although vitamin B is commonly used in DKD, its effects are unclear. This review included nine studies with a total of 1354 participants. One study reported improvement in urinary albumin levels following use of thiamine. None of the other studies reported improvement in kidney function or reduction in urinary albumin excretion after two to 36 months monotherapy with vitamin B therapy. Vitamin B therapy was reported to well‐tolerated with mild side effects in studies with treatment duration of more than six months. Studies of less than six months duration did not explicitly report adverse events; they reported that the drugs were well‐tolerated without any serious drug related adverse events. All these findings require confirmation in larger studies before they can be accepted as definite.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

People with advanced kidney disease frequently develop heart disease, which is the most common cause of deaths in these people. An increased level of the amino acid (homocysteine) in the blood is a risk factor for heart disease in people with advanced kidney disease. Therapies that reduce homocysteine levels (e.g. folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12) are often used, but the benefits and harms of their use are unclear. We aimed to assess the benefits and harms of homocysteine‐lowering therapies in people with advanced kidney disease who were on dialysis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

We reviewed whether particular vitamins, which lower homocysteine, prevent cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: August 17, 2017

Micronutrient status can affect cognitive function at all ages. Vitamin deficiencies could influence memory function and might contribute to age‐associated cognitive impairment and dementia. Vitamin B6 is involved in the regulation of mental function and mood and in the metabolism of homocysteine, a risk factor for vascular disease. Two trials of vitamin B6 supplements for healthy elderly people qualified for this review, with no beneficial effects on mood or mental function detectable. Homocysteine levels were not assessed. No ill effects of vitamin B6 were observed. No trials studying effects of vitamin B6 treatment for people with dementia or cognitive impairment were identified.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

Acupuncture might be able to provide short‐term relief from tennis elbow, but more research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Laetrile is a word created from the first letters of laevorotatory and mandelonitrile and describes a semi‐synthetic form of amygdalin. Amygdalin is a compound that can be isolated from the seeds of many fruits such as peaches, bitter almonds and apricots. Both laetrile and amygdalin have a common structural component, mandelonitrile, that contains cyanide.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies due to the requirements of the growing baby during the pregnancy. In low‐income countries, many women have diets with low content of vitamins and minerals, and they participate in long hours of physical labour. They are also exposed to recurrent infections, which make nutritional deficiencies worse. Thus, lack of adequate nutrition can contribute to the poor health of these women their babies.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer, usually linked with previous exposure to asbestos. Its most common site is the pleura, a protective lining of the lungs. Currently there is no established standard treatment for mesothelioma. This review found a large clinical trial that examined the effectiveness of pemetrexed disodium, an anticancer drug developed to treat pleural mesothelioma, given in combination with another cancer drug, cisplatin. The results indicate that pemetrexed used in combination with cisplatin significantly increases the length of survival, when compared with cisplatin alone. Further research is needed into the optimum treatment regimen for pleural mesothelioma.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

General information about cancer prevention and descriptions of the concepts used in cancer-specific prevention summaries.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 11, 2017

Postnatal depression is a common condition that affects women and may impact on their babies. Common symptoms of postnatal depression include fluctuations in mood, mood changes, suicidal ideation and preoccupation with infant well‐being ranging from over‐concern to frank delusions. There is currently not much evidence regarding interventions that might prevent or treat postnatal depression. A diet lacking in certain vitamins, minerals or other nutrients may cause postnatal depression in some women. Correcting this deficiency with dietary supplements might therefore prevent postnatal depression. Examples of possible dietary supplements aimed at preventing postnatal depression include omega‐3 fatty acids, iron, folate, s‐adenosyl‐L‐methionine, vitamin B12 (cobalamin), B6 (pyridoxine), B2 (riboflavin), vitamin D and calcium.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

When the blood has insufficient red cells, or the red cells carry insufficient haemoglobin to deliver adequate oxygen to the tissues, this is called anaemia. There is normally a reduction in the haemoglobin concentrations in the mother's blood during pregnancy, and this allows a better blood flow around the womb (uterus) and to the baby. This is sometime called physiological anaemia and needs no treatment. True anaemia, however, can be mild, moderate or severe and can cause weakness, tiredness and dizziness. Severe anaemia makes women at risk of cardiac failure and is very common in low‐income countries Anaemia has many causes including a shortage or iron, folic acid or vitamin B12. These are all required for making red cells and are available in a good diet. Iron shortage, however, is the most common cause of anaemia during pregnancy. Iron treatment can be given by mouth (oral), by injection into the muscle (intramuscular) or injection into the vein (intravenous). Blood transfusion or giving something which stimulates the body to produce more red cells (erythropoietin) are also possible treatments.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

The benefits and risks of multiple‐micronutrient supplementation during lactation are not clear from randomised controlled studies. Key vitamins and minerals, particularly iodine, iron and zinc, are required in small amounts to ensure normal body metabolism, physical growth and development. Nutrient deficiency affects nearly one third of the world’s population, especially in low‐ and middle‐income countries. Breastfeeding mothers need higher levels than usual in order to provide sufficient vitamins and minerals for their own health and that of their babies, particularly for normal functioning and the growth and development of the baby.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Smoking and H. pylori infection are important risk factors for stomach (gastric) cancer. Learn about all of the risk factors for stomach cancer and how to prevent stomach cancer in this expert-reviewed summary.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: December 1, 2015

714-X is made by mixing chemicals with camphor, a natural substance that comes from the wood and bark of the camphor tree. Read about the theory behind using 714-X and its current use in cancer patients.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 28, 2017

There is no standard or routine screening test for stomach (gastric) cancer. Stomach (gastric) cancer is not common in the U.S. Learn about tests that have been studied to detect or screen for stomach cancer in this expert-reviewed summary.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 22, 2013

Expert-reviewed information summary about the use of the Gerson therapy as a treatment for people with cancer. Note: The information in this summary is no longer being updated and is provided for reference purposes only.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: January 7, 2015

Expert-reviewed information summary about the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of depression in adults and children who have cancer.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: September 8, 2017

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