Why is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Pervasive?
Poor dietary intake
What are the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a treatable condition that can result in physical, neurological and psychological symptoms, and can be treated with vitamin B12 medications. Via Cleveland Clinic, a lack of this vitamin in one's diet or difficulty in absorbing it properly can be the cause. It is also important to note that an undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency can increase the risk of anemia and permanent nerve damage.
Where can I find Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is mainly sourced from animal-based foods such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products, as well as fortified breakfast cereals, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Adequate Intake (AI) Sources of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is also found in some dietary supplements and fortified foods.
What are the potential consequences of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can have serious consequences, which can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, medications, or dietary choices. According to WebMD (Oct 31, 2022), symptoms of B12 deficiency may include tiredness, depression, nerve damage, anemia, and difficulty with mental health. Those who are vegan or vegetarian may be at an increased risk of B12 deficiency due to low dietary intake of the vitamin.
Lack of absorption
What are the signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia?
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia is caused by a lack of intrinsic factor, a protein produced in the stomach, or surgery that removes or bypasses the end of the small intestine which is where vitamin B12 is absorbed. Mentioned in Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2018, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of the deficiency in order to receive proper treatment.
What causes vitamin B12-deficiency anemia?
Vitamin B12deficiency anemia is most often due to a lack of intrinsic factor, a protein made in the stomach which helps the body absorb vitamin B12. Via the NHLBI, NIH, this type of anemia can also be caused by pernicious anemia, which is a lack of intrinsic factor production.
Vitamin deficiency anemia is a serious condition that can cause a range of health complications, including pregnancy complications, according to Mayo Clinic (2022). Folate deficiency is now less common due to the addition of folate to food products, but it can still lead to birth defects. It is important to ensure adequate vitamin intake for optimal health.
Low stomach acid
What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly caused by inadequate stomach acid or medications that decrease stomach acid, especially in older people. As mentioned in The Nutrition Source from Harvard T.H., stomach acid is needed to liberate vitamin B12 from food, thus making it available for absorption.
B12 deficiency is caused by disrupted steps in absorption, such as pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease of the stomach which inhibits the body's production of proteins for B12 absorption. Mentioned in Parkview Health (Jan 18, 2022), B12 is essential for energy metabolism and neurological functions.
Is vitamin B12 and folate deficiency common among older adults?
Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency are common among older adults, with around 1 in 10 people aged 75 or over and 1 in 20 people aged 65 to 74 having the condition. Treatment is available in the form of injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins, according to the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK. It is important to note that folate is essential for pregnant women as it helps prevent birth defects.
Can Vitamin B12 deficiency cause health issues?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms if left untreated, such as weakness, heart palpitations, pale skin, and digestive issues, according to WebMD (on webmd.com, 2020). It is important to have your levels checked regularly to prevent any complications. Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include meat, dairy products, and eggs.
What are two risk factors associated with Vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common cause of megaloblastic anemia, various neuropsychiatric symptoms, and other clinical manifestations, and should be screened for in high-risk patients. As mentioned in a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health in 2017, use of metformin for more than four months and use of proton pump inhibitors are two risk factors associated with Vitamin B12 deficiency.
How can a deficiency of vitamin B12 lead to anemia?
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is caused by a lack of intrinsic factor, which can be due to pernicious anemia, surgery, or long-term use of antacids and other heartburn medicines, as well as nitrous oxide abuse. According to MedlinePlus (on medlineplus.gov), it is important to have enough vitamin B12 in your diet to prevent anemia.
What are the health risks associated with vitamin B12 deficiency?
An international research team has discovered a new genetic disease related to vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to serious health problems, including developmental delay, psychosis, stroke and dementia. Published in November 2012 by McGill University Newsroom, this study highlights the importance of understanding the genetic causes of vitamin B12 deficiency in order to improve diagnosis and treatment. It is important to ensure that those with an inherited condition are able to access adequate supplementation in order to avoid potential health risks.
What is the association between FUT2 and Vitamin B12 levels?
A recent study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health determined that the genetic variant FUT2 is associated with higher levels of Vitamin B12 in the blood. This variant is also known to protect the stomach from infection by Norwalk virus and H. pylori bacterium. It was found that this variant accounted for approximately three percent of variation in B12 plasma levels.
What is pernicious anemia?
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia is caused by a lack of intrinsic factor, a protein made in the stomach needed to absorb vitamin B12, or surgery that removes or bypasses the end of the small intestine, where vitamin B12 is absorbed. As reported by Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2020, this type of B12 deficiency anemia is called pernicious anemia. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, and memory loss.
Gut microbiome imbalance
What role does vitamin B-12 play in bacterial metabolism?
This systematic review concluded that there is evidence linking vitamin B-12 and the gut microbiome, suggesting that vitamin B-12 plays a role in bacterial metabolism. Attributed to the study published in Nutrients on pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov in 2021, bacteria require vitamin B-12 for over a dozen enzymes, much more than humans require for just two.
Does vitamin B12 deficiency affect the gut microbiota in IBD patients?
Vitamin B12 deficiency appears to alter the gut microbiota in IBD patients, according to a study published by Frontiers in Nutrition in 2020. This study found that a lack of vitamin B12 is associated with an imbalance of the gut microbiota, which may contribute to the development and progression of IBD. It was found that vitamin B12 is a key cofactor of methionine synthase, an enzyme involved in the methylation cycle which is essential for proper intestinal health.
What role does Vitamin B12 play in gut-brain homeostasis?
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining gut-brain homeostasis and preventing metabolic diseases, such as ischemic stroke. According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 2020, VB12 helps to maintain microbial communities by acting as a metabolic cofactor. Research also suggests that VB12 deficiency has been linked to poorer cognitive health.
Medication side effects
What is needed for Vitamin B12 absorption?
Vitamin B12 is an important water-soluble vitamin derived from animal products such as red meat, dairy, and eggs, and is necessary for the synthesis of DNA. Intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein produced by parietal cells in the stomach, is necessary for its absorption in the terminal ileum. From StatPearls (NCBI Bookshelf, 2022), B12 is used as a cofactor for enzymes involved in this process.
How can I prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can take several years to show symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Factsheet on Vitamin B12. Consuming 1 to 5 mg of Vitamin B12 daily can help to prevent deficiency, although individual needs may vary.
How is Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia treated?
Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is usually treated with injections of Vitamin B12, such as hydroxocobalamin which stays in the body for longer. Via NHS UK, at first, you'll have these injections every other day for 2 weeks or until your symptoms have improved. Taking vitamin B12 supplements orally is also a viable treatment option for mild cases of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Can heavy drinking lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Heavy drinking can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency due to its diuretic effect, which increases urinary excretion of the nutrient, as well as its ability to damage the gut lining, making it harder to absorb. Cited from Fit Recovery, this can be counteracted by taking supplements and eating foods that are rich in B12. Reducing alcohol consumption may help to prevent the deficiency in the first place.
Alcohol abuse can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency, according to a study published in Acta Ophthalmol by the Department of Ophthalmology at the University in 2014. The study concluded that alcohol abuse can cause a variety of deficiencies and complications, and that vitamin B12 deficiency should be monitored in individuals with a history of alcohol abuse. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to fatigue, anemia, and nerve damage.
What can alcoholism lead to?
Alcoholism can lead to serious deficiencies in vitamins, such as folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A, due to a combination of inadequate dietary intake and altered absorption, storage, metabolism, and activation of the vitamins. As stated by a study published by the National Institutes of Health in 1987, this is a major cause of vitamin deficiency in those with alcoholism. It is important to note that alcohol consumption can lead to long-term damage of the digestive system, further compounding the problem.
Can antacids and ulcer medications affect B12 deficiency?
The chance of developing B12 deficiency increases as people age due to changes in digestion and reduced absorption. As mentioned in UCLA Health, regular use of antacids and ulcer medications can also interfere with absorption. The recommended daily intake of B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms, although the body can store up to 2,000.
Can vitamin B12 deficiency anemia cause symptoms?
Vitamin B12deficiency anemia can cause fatigue, paleness, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness and even brain and nervous system symptoms if left untreated. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), treating this type of anemia requires replenishing vitamin B12 levels. It is important to maintain a diet rich in vitamin B12.
What causes vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia?
Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia is caused by a lack of either of these vitamins, which affects the body's ability to produce fully functioning red blood cells. According to the NHS, most people with this type of anaemia have underdeveloped red blood cells. Some studies suggest that a lack of these vitamins can lead to neurological and psychological issues.
Chronic health conditions
What causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia?
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia is caused by a lack of intrinsic factor - a protein made in the stomach needed to absorb vitamin B12 - or surgery that removes or bypasses the end of the small intestine, where vitamin B12 is absorbed, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine (on hopkinsmedicine.org, n.d.). Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to neurological and psychiatric symptoms.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms, from sensory disturbances to impaired movement, and can be easily overlooked. Cited on Harvard Health, in a study published in 2022, these symptoms include numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulty walking, anemia, and swollen tongue. B12 deficiency can cause a decrease in red blood cells.
Is vitamin B-12 safe?
High doses of vitamin B-12 are generally safe, with only minor side effects such as headaches, nausea and vomiting reported. As stated by Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms, and higher doses have been found to be safe as the body absorbs only what it needs. Studies have found that a regular intake of vitamin B-12 can be beneficial for cognitive health.
- Clevelandclinic : Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Cleveland Clinic.
- Hopkinsmedicine : Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia, Johns Hopkins Medicine.
- Harvard : Vitamin B12, The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H..
- Webmd : Vitamin B12 Deficiency, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, - WebMD.
- Mcgill : Vitamin B12 deficiency, the genetic causes.