effects of vitamin b12 deficiency

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Everyone can certainly experience vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms throughout their lifetime for a variety of reasons (lack of optimal nutrition, poor eating

habits, etc.), but some people are more likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency than others. Knowing that you are a part of one of these risk groups should

help increase your awareness and, ultimately, prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency.


The lack of proteins from animal based foods creates a B12 deficiency for vegetarians and vegans. Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in beef, poultry, shellfish,

eggs and dairy products. A diet without these food sources lacks B12 to begin with and hence they will quickly have a vitamin B12 deficiency unless

nutritional supplements are introduced.

Pregnant and Lactating Women on Vegetarian Diets:

This group is at a higher risk than other vegetarians. Pregnant and lactating women require more B12 for themselves and their infants during pregnancy and

through breastfeeding. A normal adult requires 2.4 mcg per day, but pregnant women require 2.6mcg per day and lactating women should have 2.8 mcg per day.

Even pregnant women on low meat diets should monitor themselves for vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms to ensure the health of themselves and their babies.

Prenatal vitamins with a B12 supplement are encourages for this group

Adults over 50:

Approximately 30% of adults over the age of 50 develop atrophic gastritis. This process alters the digestive system and makes it harder for the body to

properly absorb vitamin B12 in its natural state (from natural foods). Nutritional supplements of B12 are synthetic and are unaffected by the atrophic

gastritis, thus reducing the likelihood of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Gastric Bypass and Gastrointestinal Disease Patients:

Disruptions to the normal digestive process from surgery, Chron's disease, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis make it very difficult for the body to

naturally absorb vitamin B12. I'll write a further article on the details of these ailments, but nutritional supplements should be considered (preferably in

a non-swallowed form). This group has a very high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.

Robert Zinderbaan is a nutrition expert promoting healthy lifestyles and optimal nutrition. Learn more about vitamin B12 deficiency risk groups and the key

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms from NutritionCrossroads.

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