signs of vitamin b12 deficiencies

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What Are The Causes Of Vitamin B12 Deficency? Plus The Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is most common in a vegan diet. Why? Because the most readily available sources of Vitamin B12 are in animal products, especially

meat. The causes of deficiency can be avoided by supplementing daily with Vitamin B12 tablets. Even when you believe you maintain a carefully balanced

vegetarian diet, Vitamin B12 is the one to watch.

When my husband and I were raw foodies, we believed a whole food diet would give us almost all the nutrition we needed. However we knew Vitamin B12 was the

most vital supplement to keep us healthy in the long-run.

So what are the main causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency?

The main causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency fall into two categories. 1) Nutritional factors and 2) problems of absorption.

1) Nutritional Factors

Animal products are the only foods that provide significant amounts of Vitamin B12. The richest sources of Vitamin B12 are liver and kidneys. Fish, eggs,

cheese and meat also contain good amounts. There are no significant plant sources. Some researchers claim to have discovered Vitamin B12 in algae, seaweeds

and fermented foods such as tempeh - however recently this has been disproven.

People at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency from nutritional factors include:

# Vegans

A vegan diet must be supplemented with Vitamin B12. The body is able to store Vitamin B12 and also has clever mechanisms for recycling it when there is a

dietary lack - however eventually it will become depleted. It is particularly important to take Vitamin B12 supplements immediately on converting to a vegan

diet, because it takes some time for the intestines to become more efficient in recycling. Calcium may also need to be supplemented. This mineral is

necessary for Vitamin B12 absorption and is often lacking in vegan diets.

# The Elderly

There is a high prevalence of Vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly. Poor diet will be a factor in many cases. There is also a decline in the aging body's

ability to absorb and store nutrients.

# Alcoholics

Alcohol causes depletion of Vitamin B12 and other vitamins and minerals. Over consumption of alcohol will impair liver and intestine function resulting in

poor nutrient absorption

2) Problems of absorption

Vitamin B12 is a large molecule and tricky for our intestines to absorb. The body has developed a sophisticated system for dealing with it. The stomach

produces a substance called intrinsic factor that carries Vitamin B12 through the digestive tract for absorption in the lower part of the small intestine


The mechanism for absorbing Vitamin B12 may be affected by a variety of factors:

# Surgery to remove part of the stomach or the ileum may result in impaired Vitamin B12 absorption.
Insufficient gastric acid. Vitamin B12 in food needs to be cleaved from its carrier proteins by the stomach acids. If for any reason there is an

insufficiency of hydrochloric acid it will not be available for absorption. This situation may occur for many reasons, including long-term use of antacids

and certain pharmaceutical drugs such was Metformin (a diabetic drug).

# Helicobacter Pylori bacterial infection of the stomach. This bacteria infects the stomach lining and may cause ulcers. Although H. Pylori infection is

quite common and may cause no apparent symptoms it can prevent the production of intrinsic factor and thereby impair Vitamin B12 absorption.

# Parasites such as tape worms.

# Other chronic gastro-intestinal problems such as Crohn's Disease.

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Cahaya Senja said...

that's my favorit traditional food.
Nice blog, sir. Your blog looks beatiful than my blog.

Nice to meet you too ^_^

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