Vit­a­min B12 is one of the most essen­tial sub­stances for the human body. What is the dan­ger of a defi­cien­cy of this sub­stance and how to deal with it? Look for the answer in our new arti­cle.

vitamin b


Vit­a­min B12 or folic acid is an essen­tial sub­stance that helps human cells pro­duce nucle­ic acids (DNA). It is found only in foods of ani­mal ori­gin and its defi­cien­cy is often found not only in the elder­ly, but also in those who fol­low a veg­an diet.

Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

In the elder­ly, the absorp­tion of vit­a­min B12 is impaired due to atroph­ic gas­tri­tis, for exam­ple. B12 also ceas­es to be absorbed if a per­son needs ampu­ta­tion of the stom­ach, in which case life­long ther­a­py with this vit­a­min is required.

And, of course, the most obvi­ous cause of vit­a­min B12 defi­cien­cy is inad­e­quate intake.

The main sources of vitamin B12:

  • liv­er;
  • meat;
  • dairy.

A nor­mal diet con­tains a lot of vit­a­min B12, but if a per­son fol­lows a veg­an diet with­out sup­ple­men­ta­tion, they may become defi­cient.

vitamin b deficiency what to do


Folic acid deficiency

The human body can­not pro­duce folic acid on its own, so it must be obtained from foods such as liv­er, green veg­eta­bles, and yeast.

The lack of folic acid in preg­nant women increas­es the risk of clo­sure of the neur­al tube of the fetus, it is the need for this sub­stance dur­ing preg­nan­cy and lac­ta­tion that increas­es. Doc­tors rec­om­mend tak­ing extra serv­ings of vit­a­min B12.

A folic acid defi­cien­cy con­di­tion often appears in peo­ple who do not eat prop­er­ly, in par­tic­u­lar in peo­ple who abuse alco­hol. Celi­ac dis­ease (gluten intol­er­ance) and oth­er intesti­nal dis­or­ders that inter­fere with the absorp­tion of sub­stances by the intestines also lead to a lack of folic acid.

Some med­ica­tions also cause folic acid defi­cien­cy. For exam­ple, drugs for epilep­sy.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms:

  • ane­mia;
  • low num­ber of platelets and leuko­cytes;
  • mus­cle weak­ness;
  • vio­la­tions of sen­si­tiv­i­ty and mem­o­ry;
  • tongue inflam­ma­tion;
  • weight loss;
  • yel­low­ing of the skin.
folic acid


Diagnosis of the disease

If you sus­pect a vit­a­min B12 defi­cien­cy, you need to go to a doc­tor’s con­sul­ta­tion, who will pre­scribe the appro­pri­ate blood tests. Some­times, in order to iden­ti­fy the dis­ease, you need to take a sam­ple of the bone mar­row or per­form an endoscopy of the stom­ach in order to iden­ti­fy atroph­ic inflam­ma­tion in the body.

If hemo­glo­bin is very low, the doc­tor rec­om­mends urgent tests, as this con­di­tion indi­cates a malig­nant blood dis­ease.

Treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency

Vit­a­min B12 defi­cien­cy can be cor­rect­ed with a vit­a­min prepa­ra­tion. It is usu­al­ly admin­is­tered as an injec­tion: at first more often, and then, after cor­rect­ing the defi­cien­cy, it is pierced every 1–3 months to main­tain the effect.

If there is a prob­lem with vit­a­min absorp­tion, a per­son needs treat­ment for a life­time.

With a slight defi­cien­cy, tablet ther­a­py is rec­om­mend­ed. It is pos­si­ble if a per­son does not con­sume enough vit­a­min B12 with food.

Prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency

Vit­a­min B12 and folic acid defi­cien­cies respond well to sim­ple pre­ven­tive mea­sures:

  • var­ied diet;
  • lack of rigid mono-diets;
  • ade­quate vit­a­min intake from dietary sup­ple­ments.

In some cas­es, pre­ven­tion is not pos­si­ble. This applies to gas­tri­tis asso­ci­at­ed with autoim­mune inflam­ma­tion of the gas­tric mucosa. In this case, only the treat­ment of Heli­cobac­ter will save the sit­u­a­tion.