Friday, 19 June 2015

B12 deficiency can present with recent memory loss

B12 deficiency can present with recent memory loss

If you are forgetting things, get your vitamin B 12 levels done instead of worrying that you are going towards dementia, said Padma Shri, Dr. B C Roy & DST National Science Communication Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India and Honorary Secretary General IMA.

Animal products (meat and dairy products) provide the only dietary source of B12 (cobalamin - Cbl) for humans. Strict vegans avoid all animal products, and are at risk of developing nutritional Cbl deficiency. The usual western diet contains 5 to 7 micrograms of cobalamin per day, while the minimum daily requirement is 6 to 9 micrograms per day. Total body stores of Cbl are 2 to 5 mg and one-half of this is in the liver. It takes years to develop vitamin B12 deficiency after absorption of dietary B12 ceases.

There is a link between infection with Helicobacter pylori (as seen in peptic ulcer) and low serum B12 levels.  Mild and usually subclinical cobalamin deficiency can also occur in 24% of the elderly.
People taking metformin, such as obese, those with diabetes, polycystic ovarian disease, may be at risk of developing B12 deficiency, which can be reversed with oral calcium supplementation.

Prolonged use of omeprazole (given for acidity) can result in Cbl deficiency. Women who are only moderate vegetarians may become Cbl deficient during pregnancy and lactation; their infants may also be Cbl deficient.

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