Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to many health issues. The human body does not produce or store this vitamin. We only find animal-based foods. Anyone can experience a vitamin B12 deficiency, but certain groups are more likely.
Extended Antacid Users
Antacids are a great deal of help for anyone suffering from conditions like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) but long-term use can lead to a B12 deficiency. Antacids reduce the acid required to absorb vitamin B12. Always use the lowest dose antacid possible and avoid long-term use unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
People over 60 years of age.
The elderly are at increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. As you age the ability to absorb this nutrient decreases because the acid used to break it down also decreases. This condition affects approximately 10% – 15% of people over the age of 60. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1 out of 31 adults over 50 have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Weight Loss Surgery Patients
They are at risk for developing a B12 deficiency. A specific portion of the stomach handles the absorption of B12. Gastric bypass surgery decreases the stomach size and bypasses that section. It will always require these patients to add a high-quality supplement to their health care routine.
They are at high risk of developing low levels of B12. Animal-based foods are the only source of B12 because the body does not create or store it. The lack of meat in a vegan’s diet, makes them more likely to develop a B12 deficiency.
It is very important for vegans to choose a supplement that is high quality and easily added to their daily routine. Read the labels and do the research. Some ingredients include animal based products.
Recommended Reading: Enjoy this Vegan Holiday Recipe
Moderate to Heavy Alcohol Drinkers
Chronic alcohol consumption may damage the stomach lining by thinning it. The conclusion of one study stated, “Among healthy, well-nourished, postmenopausal women, moderate alcohol intake may diminish vitamin B12 status.”
Some Immune System Disorder Patients
One example is pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disorder. People with this disorder have a gastrointestinal tract cannot absorb B12. Ask your doctor about B12 testing if you have any autoimmune disorder.
Crohn’s and Celiac Disease Patients
These are two examples of small intestine disorders that may cause a B12 deficiency. Crohn’s disease causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine. This damage makes it harder, or even impossible, to absorb nutrients. Three important ones are vitamins D, B9 and B12.
Women taking oral birth control
Those taking it for prolonged periods of time may experience vitamin B12 deficiency. Stephanie Middleberg, R.D., nutritionist at Middleberg Nutrition in New York City says, “Women who have been on oral contraceptives for extended periods of time tend to have issues absorbing vitamin B12.”
Studies have shown that oral contraceptives with higher levels of estrogen are connected to higher cases of vitamin B12 deficiency. After talking to your doctor, Middleberg advises you add a high-quality supplement.
Atrophic Gastritis Patients
These patients have a chronic condition that causes thinning of the stomach lining. The protein(intrinsic factor) that breaks down and uses B12 is in that lining. The thin lining makes it difficult or even impossible for the body to absorb B12.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Vegans
Women must talk to the doctor or pediatrician if they are following a strict vegan diet. Vitamin B12 is necessary for healthy development of the unborn or born child’s brain and nervous system. When a baby has low B12 levels, developmental delays, limited motor skills, and unhealthy development of the nervous system are just a few things that may happen.
It is best to consult your physician or pharmacist prior to adding any supplements. Just as important is choosing a high quality one. GoNutrients has created a line of supplements that are alcohol free, GMO free, gluten-free and dairy free. You won’t find any artificial flavors, colors. or preservatives in any GoNutrients product.