Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Medical Vitamin B-12 and folic acid deficiencies

Tags:
  1. Jun 20, 2012 #1

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    According to a program I heard yesterday, roughly 16% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin B12. There was also a related concern about deficiencies of folic acid, B6. The two are somehow related.

    Ref: The Health Show #1263

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid#B12_deficiency

    Vitamin B12, aka cobalamin, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12

    It is important to determine if there is a deficiency and if that deficiency is related to the inability to absorb B6 or B12, which is indicative of other, potentially treatable, issues related to the digestive system. I may know at least one, possibly two people, who may have experienced B12 deficiency.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2012 #2

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What is the demographics of that group, would that mostly be the elderly or people taking anti-acid medication?
     
  4. Jun 22, 2012 #3

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think the radio show is referring to the study described here: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm

    Apparently the malabsorption occurred at the same incidence in young and old (surprising) and that the underlying cause is not well understood:
     
  5. Jun 30, 2012 #4
    vit b12 is in meat, vegetarians suffer from this def, but they can get supplement from certain bacteria.
     
  6. Jun 30, 2012 #5

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sigh.. vitamin B12 is in more places than meat. Vegetarians only have a slight increased risk for B12 deficiency, vegans do have a high risk.

    My quote says: "“It’s not because people aren’t eating enough meat,” Tucker said. “The vitamin isn’t getting absorbed.”"

    According to the OP 16% of Americans have a vitamin B12 deficiency, however: only ±0.5% of Americans are vegan.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  7. Aug 13, 2012 #6
    Only those vegans who do not supplement it. Those who do have no more no less risk than anyone else. I'm vegan four years now and blood tests show that values are nominal. I know of several who are vegan longer and have no deficiencies too. I think the risk of B12 deficiency in vegans has been greatly exaggerated.
     
  8. Aug 24, 2012 #7
    It is rare to see B12 deficiency solely due to decreased intake from foods. Most of the times, surgical patients who are surgically devoid of a stomach or terminal ileum (due to tumors, or other disorders) can be deficient in B12 due to the inability to absorb or produce intrinsic factor that help with absorption. Many gastric bypass patients need ample supplementation due to this. Intramuscular injections are available for those who truly cannot absorb them.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Vitamin B-12 and folic acid deficiencies
  1. Vitamin B (Replies: 8)

  2. Vitamin b and dreaming (Replies: 1)

Loading...