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Convulsions apparently identical to epilepsy have been produced in many species of animals and in infants and adults by a lack of vitamin B6. Almost 25 years ago, the late Dr. Tom Spies gave vitamin B6 to persons subject to epilepsy and achieved excellent results. More recently a well known proprietary baby formula contained so little vitamin B6 that more than 300 infants given it developed severe convulsions, an inexcusable tragedy which could have been prevented had the formula been tested on animals before being marketed or had physicians who gave it checked its vitamin-B6 content. In our community, one exhausted and worried young mother committed suicide because her infant, receiving this formula, had such seizures, though the child is healthy today.
Babies given this formula were irritable, sensitive to noises, showed abnormal electroencephalograms, and had repeated seizures brought on by handling, feeding, or loud sounds. Though these convulsions stopped and the electroencephalograms became normal within minutes after vitamin B6 was given, some infants needed only 1.2 milligrams daily to prevent further seizures, whereas others required 5 milligrams. In one case where the mother had epilepsy unless she took vitamin B6 regularly, her infant's requirement was particularly high.
If large amounts of vitamin B6 alone are given, the need for other B vitamins, particularly vitamin B2 and pantothenic acid, is so increased that harm can be done unless they, too, are supplied. Streptomycin, which appears to destroy vitamin B6 or perhaps increases the need for it, has also caused epileptic-like convulsions in children. Tests for xanthurenic acid have shown, however, that many persons with epilepsy are not deficient in vitamin B6; and in such cases, the vitamin has no corrective effect.
The results of giving persons with epilepsy adequate magnesium have been more consistently favorable. Thirty epileptic children, all previously on anticonvulsant drugs, were given 450 milligrams of magnesium daily by mouth, and the drugs were discontinued. A 13-year-old boy who had had epilepsy for ten years was extremely depressed, showed signs of mental retardation, and his seizures could not be prevented by drugs. After receiving magnesium, his epilepsy disappeared and he became mentally alert. The more serious type of epilepsy, or grand mal, was found to be as easily corrected by magnesium as was the milder form, or petit mal. Of the 30 children, only one child, who may have been deficient in vitamin B6, failed to show marked improvement.
Epilepsy so severe that it could not be controlled by drugs has been brought on by nephritis, which allows magnesium to be lost in the urine; the seizures stopped a single hour after magnesium was given. Muscle biopsies of babies who developed convulsions resulting from magnesium losses through diarrhea showed only half the normal magnesium content. These infants also had intermittent foot and wrist spasms, rigidity of the back and neck, and tremors of the arms and legs, all of which became worse when water, given to overcome dehydration, diluted their magnesium supply. As soon as 500 milligrams of this nutrient were given them, all symptoms promptly disappeared. Because of a high calcium intake, infants are especially subject to a magnesium deficiency.
Through the years I have planned nutrition programs for perhaps 50 persons suffering from epilepsy, and know of none who has not stayed free of the illness without anticonvulsive drugs. Dozens of letters have told of similar results. Some of these individuals obtained their vitamin B6 and magnesium entirely from foods, whereas others took supplements of both nutrients. Several have remained free from seizures while following an adequate diet at home, but when hospitalized for one reason or another and not allowed vitamin B6 and magnesium, severe epilepsy has recurred. Poor absorption of vitamin B6 may account for the rare cases where the disease is not alleviated.
Babies have been kept on purified diets lacking vitamin B6 until convulsions were produced. Electroencephalograms and muscle biopsies indicate that these convulsions and those produced in adults from a lack of vitamin B6 or of magnesium are identical in every respect to spontaneously occurring epilepsy. Certainly both nutrients should be adequate in the diet of every individual, particularly one who suffers from convulsions. Such symptoms as extreme sensitivity to noise, irritability, twitching, muscle spasms, apprehension, and perhaps bed-wetting and tremors usually become apparent long before convulsions occur. If both vitamin B6 and magnesium were increased as soon as any of these signs becomes noticeable, epilepsy could probably be prevented.
About The Author
David Crawford is the CEO and owner of a Male Enhancement Pills company known as Male Enhancement Group which is dedicated to researching and comparing male enhancement products in order to determine which male enhancement product is safer and more effective than other products on the market. Copyright 2010 David Crawford of Male Enhancement Reviews This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
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