There is a high (approx 40%) prevalence of B12 deficiency in hypothyroid patients. Traditional symptoms are not a good guide to determining presence of B12 deficiency. Screening for vitamin B12 levels should be undertaken in all hypothyroid patients, irrespective of their thyroid antibody status. Replacement of B12 leads to improvement in symptoms, although a placebo effect cannot be excluded, as a number of patients without B12 deficiency also appeared to respond to B12, administration.
If anything makes us human it's our minds, thoughts and emotions.
And yet a controversial new concept is emerging that claims gut bacteria are an invisible hand altering our brains.
Science is piecing together how the trillions of microbes that live on and in all of us - our microbiome - affect our physical health.
But even conditions including depression, autism and neurodegenerative disease are now being linked to these tiny creatures.
We've known for centuries that how we feel affects our gut - just think what happens before an exam or a job interview - but now it is being seen as a two-way street.
Groups of researchers believe they are on the cusp of a revolution that uses "mood microbes" or "psychobiotics" to improve mental health.
The study that ignited the whole concept took place at Kyushu University in Japan.
The researchers showed that "germ-free" mice - those that never came into contact with microbes - pumped out twice the amount of stress hormone when distressed than normal mice.
The animals were identical except for their microbes. It was a strong hint that the difference was a result of their micro-organisms.
"We all go back to that first paper for the first wave of neuroscientists considering microbes," says Dr Jane Foster, a neuropsychiatrist at McMaster University in Canada. "That really was very powerful for those of us who were studying depression and anxiety." It was the first hint of microbial medicine in mental health.
How could bacteria be altering the brain?The brain is the most complex object in the known universe so how could it be reacting to bacteria in the gut?
But their completely sterile upbringing is nothing like the real world. We're constantly coming into contact with microbes in our environment, none of us are germ-free.
At Cork University Hospital, Prof Ted Dinan is trying to uncover what happens to the microbiome in his depressed patients.
A good rule of thumb is a healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome, containing a wide variety of different species living all over our bodies.
Prof Dinan says: "If you compare somebody who is clinically depressed with someone who is healthy, there is a narrowing in the diversity of the microbiota.
"I'm not suggesting it is the sole cause of depression, but I do believe for many individuals it does play a role in the genesis of depression."
And he argues some lifestyles that weaken our gut bacteria, such as a diet low in fibre, can make us more vulnerable.
It's an intriguing concept - that an imbalance in the gut microbiome could be involved in depression.
So scientists at the APC Microbiome centre, at University College Cork, started transplanting the microbiome from depressed patients to animals. It's known in the biz as a trans-poo-sion.
It showed that if you transfer the bacteria, you transfer the behaviour too.
Prof John Cryan told the BBC: "We were very surprised that you could, by just taking microbiome samples, reproduce many of the features of a depressed individual in a rat."
This included anhedonia - the way depression can lead to people losing interest in what they normally find pleasurable.
For the rats, that was sugary water they could not get enough of, yet "when they were given the microbiome from a depressed individual, they no longer cared", says Prof Cryan.
Over 3 million Australians experience significant symptoms of anxiety and depression every year. We have provided services to people aged 18-94 from every state and territory in Australia.
MindSpot has been designed to provide free and easily accessible help to people who need some skills to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression better.
The MindSpot Clinic is a free service for Australian adults who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety, stress, depression and low mood. We provide online Screening Assessments and Treatment Courses, or we can help you find local services that can help.
MindSpot is made up of a team of over 30 Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Mental Health Professionals who are passionate about providing a free and effective service to people all over Australia. We have a dedicated IT team to ensure that this happens as securely and efficiently as possible. MindSpot is based at Macquarie University, Sydney, and we are funded by the Australian government.
GREAT PRODUCTS - WITH A PURPOSEFUL MISSION EVOHE - OMG AMAZING AND THEN HURRAW GREAT FOR WINTER LIP BALM
DON’T USE PRODUCTS WITH PALM OIL!!!! UNLESS YOU KNOW THE SOURCE!
Palm oil is an edible oil from the fruit of the African oil palm and its use is PROLIFIC due to its versatility, high yield, and low cost.
Palm oil monoculture is responsible for catastrophic deforestation and animal deaths in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Palm oil is a hidden ingredient in almost every way it is used: food, cleaning products, makeup, body care, and bio fuels.
For body care and detergents, it is used to make synthesised ingredients with names such as Glycerine, Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid, Polyglyceryl Dipolyhydroxystearate, Caprylic Triglyceride and Cetyl Alcohol.
99% of "sustainable palm oil" claims have always been unreliable. The industry self-regulating body the RSPO has a complex certification scheme that allows non-certified oil use such as GreenPalm to be labelled “sustainable”.
The only 100% certain way to know if the palm oil used in your product is sustainable is to trace it back to plantation where it was grown, and this is almost impossible.
The complex supply chain, hidden nature of palm oil use, and the fuzzy certification scheme have allowed manufacturers to get away with the guise of “sustainable palm oil” for too long.
Palm oil is easy and cheap to use. However, if the true environmental cost was factored in (including carbon dioxide released when peatlands are decimated and wildlife deaths), and full traceability to source required, it would be more expensive and less appealing to use.
If a product is certified Cruelty Free, Organic or Vegan, this is no indicator of it being palm free.
There is a significant "glossing over" going on with natural and organic brands, as most are using palm oil derived ingredients and are not disclosing it on their ingredients listing - some without realising they are using palm, and most with no idea of where the palm oil was grown.
Many brands claim that they are Cruelty Free and tell us everything they do not contain, but they do not tell us that they do contain palm oil, which is hidden under names such as Plant Surfactant, Stearic Acid and Caprylic Triglyceride, because their suppliers can not guarantee what plant oil will be used to manufacture an ingredient. Brands need to know what is being used in their products, and unless they fully disclose all ingredients, you the consumer can not make a choice.
We have learned that it is not possible to rely on a brand's assurances that they use "sustainable palm" because they generally have not obtained thorough and legally binding commitments from their suppliers. The problem is they use ingredients that their manufacturer buys from other suppliers. There are too many links in the chain and when inputs change for commercial reasons no one tells us. Some suppliers state because they are Certified Organic it means the palm input is sustainable - this is not true.
Any body product that is creamy such as moisturisers, liquid makeup, or sunscreen requires an emulsifying agent to bind the water and oil together into a cream. That emulsifier is more than likely to be a palm oil-derived ingredient. Similarly, most plant-based detergents (or surfactants) are derived from palm or coconut, and the two are interchanged depending on seasonality and cost. If a brand tells us that their Stearic Acid, for example, is not palm-oil derived, we ask for a written guarantee of this. Once we asked for this, we found they could not guarantee it would not be palm.
In addition to its most common appearance as Glycerine or Glycerin, palm oil is used extensively in the cosmetics and skin care industry in synthesised ingredients (made by chemical reactions) that are not really natural anymore in
any case, such as Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid, Polyglyceryl Dipolyhydroxystearate, Cetyl Alcohol, and Caprylic Triglyceride. Skin care manufacturers buy these ingredients from a producer who purchased the palm oil from a distrubutor, usually from a bulk mixed pool of palm oil from sources around the world. You can see how it is difficult for the manufacturer of your moisturiser to know where the palm oil used in the emulsifying agent is grown.