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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

I May Already Be
Well On My Way
To A Cure

As I write this, that I may have a Nutritional Deficiency
is speculation, but informed speculation.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,
mdcrawford@gmail.com

Thursday, December 7, 2018

Recall that I'm endlessly going on about Vitamin B12. Methylcobalamin is the natural form, in supplements and fortified foods it's Cyanocobalamin. My understanding is that it's the Cobalamin which is a key component of our metabolism.

I read somewhere that B12 is only found in meat and fungus. That article was quite specific that it was found in all fungus. A Soylentil - a fellow member of the Soylent News Community Website for Software Engineers - whose nick just now escapes me pointed out that it's not found in fungus, rather that the nutritional yeast that the Vegans are so heavily into is fortified with the stuff.

My cousin is a Vegan; he went totally bananas when I spammed my entire family with the news that I'd be focussing on steaks so as to treat my Anemia, that at the time I figured was due to blood loss from my Kidney Surgery. He gave me some eminently reasonable advice to transition gradually to become at first the Vegetarian, then later a Vegan.

But he also specifically pointed out that he takes B12 tablets.

While some say I'm a Rocket Scientist, Glenn really is a Rocket Scientist. The only thing he's ever told me about his work is that "It has to do with GPS". That he's never said more than that, and that there's nowhere to stand let alone sit in his apartment due to the giant stacks of Physics and Electrical Engineering texts all over his floor and all the way up the walls to his ceiling - every last one of them in Russian, "So as to keep my Russian up"! - lead me to regard it as impolite to ask my favorite cousin to blow his clearance.

Just now I had an office visit with a Neurologist; Dr. Hamburg struck me as quite knowledgeable.

She suggested my Aphasia and Short Term Memory Loss could be a Vitamin B12 deficiency. That's well known to cause really serious brain disorders in vegans who don't take B12 supplements.

She ordered a certain blood test for a chemical that is a metabolite of B12.

I'm not a vegan nor a vegetarian but I eat very little meat. But I've suspected I'm deficient in the stuff because I also have Anemia; B12 is required to make Red Blood Cells.

More specifically, it's a key component of the process of transcribing DNA into the chains of Amino Acids of which Protein is composed. There are many non-Protein chemicals in our bodies; some of them are compounds of protein and something else, some are nutrients such as Lorenzo's Oil, some are other compounds whose synthesis is catalyzed by Enzymes, which are particularly reactive Proteins.

That name-unrecalled Soylentil also pointed out that B12 doesn't come directly from animals, rather it's made by bacteria. That beef is rich in it is due to soil bacteria colonizing one of a cow's four stomachs. But I expect that corn fed beef could be deficient as well. I don't know yet whether cows actually require B12 but if so, then their feed corn would be fortified with it. Again I don't know about meat from other species of animals.

That our name-unrecalled Soylentil clued me in about the soil bacteria, and tha a fellow NedSpace member does marketing for a Portland Kombucha brewer led me to speculate about making a variety of Kombucha with B12 bacteria in it. But that natural - not fortified or supplemented - form of B12 is found only in animal meat and cultured animal products leads me to expect you can't brew Vega B12 Kombucha.

That's just as well: while I greatly enjoy taking a break by drinking a bottle of the vast quantities of Kombucha that my marketing colleague keeps our fridge stocked with, despite that Kombucha has very little alcohol in it, because as my ex Bonita was wont to say, "Mike drinks like a girl", just one bottle of that fizzy, refreshing beverage puts me under the table.

(By contrast, being from a sea-faring culture, Bonita drinks like a fish.)

My Facebook Friend Chiraag Nataraj - also a vegan - recommended that I get B12 from Kefir, a cultured milk beverage. That led me to look for a list of foods that are high in B12, resulting in my reading The A list of B12 foods at the Harvard Medical School website.

Clams have vast quantities of B12. I really enjoy all manner of clams and other shellfish, but around here - Vancouver Washington and Portland Oregon - they are somewhat expensive. For me to adopt clams as a staple food in my diet might be a problem due to absorption of such ocean pollutants as the Mercury that is thrown high into the air by burning coal, a far more serious short-term problem than climate change. But really I don't know so I'll research that further, as well as shop around for clams as well as - possibly - other B12-rich seafoods.

Yogurt has lots of B12 so just a couple weeks ago I started eating vast quantities of the stuff so as to treat my Anemia.

Maybe I'll have to remain a coder rather than making it as a Rock Star. ;-D

I do find great inspiration from Brian May, a guitarist and founding member of Queen. Despite being a Rock Star he is also an Astronomer. Not just a hobbyist: one of his experiments is in orbit.

But Brian still has Big Hair, whereas I'm doing pretty good when I manage to sprout any hair at all. ;-(

PS: It won't be long at all before I make more money as a Singer than I can make writing code for clients. More about that in a subsequent Wall Of Text.

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