Vitamin b12 deficiency causes | 24 Mantra Organic

Vitamin b12 deficiency causes


What are the reasons for Vitamin B₁₂ Deficiency?

Health and Nutrition

vitamin b12 deficiency causes:

Vitamin B₁₂ is present in many forms and contains the mineral cobalt. The compounds with vitamin B₁₂ activity are collectively called “cobalamins”. Vitamin B12 or cobalamin, encompasses a number of forms comprising cyano-, methyl-, deoxyadenosyl- and hydroxy-cobalamin. The cyanocobalamin form is used in supplements and is found in trace amounts in food (1).

vitamin b12 deficiency causes include malabsorption of vitamin B12 rather than lack of dietary vitamin B12. Consuming inadequate dietary vitamin B12 is however common in the elderly, vegans or lacto-ovo vegetarians with poor diets.

How much vitamin B12 do we need?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. The recommendation increases for women to 2.6 micrograms during pregnancy and 2.8 micrograms during lactation.

How is vitamin B12 absorbed?

In food vitamin B12 is bound to protein, hydrochloric acid released by the stomach is needed to break the bond. The free vitamin B12 can now interact with R proteins released by stomach cells. Once in the intestine cobalamin is released from R proteins and it binds to intrinsic factor to facilitate its absorption in the intestine. Improper functioning of which would become one of the vitamin b12 deficiency causes (1).

vitamin b12 deficiency causes and conditions 

Are you a vegetarian?

If you are a strict vegetarian then you might be at risk of being vitamin B12 deficient compared to non-vegetarians and lacto-ovo-vegetarians. The only sources of vitamin B12 are animal foods. Plant foods do not have any B. Therefore, eating only foods from plant sources and without taking any vitamin B12 supplements are the most prominent vitamin b12 deficiency causes in this case(2).

Surgery of the stomach

The absorption of vitamin B12 depends on R proteins and intrinsic factor secreted by the stomach. These proteins need to interact with vitamin B12 so that the stomach and small intestine can absorb it. If for some reason these proteinsare not secreted, it indicates one of the vitamin b12 deficiency causes.

For example, deficiency may occur in case of surgery of the stomach where part of it is removed or stapled.  There would be decrease in the cells that produce R proteins and intrinsic factor which in turn leads to reduction in the absorption of vitamin B12. vitamin b12 deficiency causes pernicious anaemia also synthesis of intrinsic factor is reduced thereby lowering vitamin B12 absorption.

Older people

Older people because of gastritis atrophy are at an increased risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Their stomachs lose the ability to make hydrochloric acid as they get older and becomes one of the major vitamin b12 deficiency causes. Stomach acid is essential to free the vitamin B12 in food as it is bound to protein so that it interacts with R proteins and intrinsic factor and finally gets absorbed.

Because of the decrease in the amount of hydrochloric acid in the system it might lead to increase in the growth of normal intestinal microflora which probably consumes vitamin B12. This situation leads to vitamin b12 deficiency causes, further reducing the amount of vitamin B12 available to the body for absorption (3).

Gastrointestinal disorders

People with stomach and small intestine disorders like celiac disease and Crohn’s disease may be unable to absorb enough vitamin B12 from food and add to the vitamin b12 deficiency causes.

Though it is very important that pregnant women and elderly people get adequate vitamin B12, it is necessary for all throughout life to lead an optimally healthy life.

  1. O’Leary, F. and Samman, S. (2010) Vitamin B12 in health and disease, Nutrients. Vol. 2(3).
  1. Wildman, R. (2009) The Nutritionist-Food, Nutrition, and Optimal Health, Vitamins Are Vital Molecules in Food, 197. Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. Second Edition. New York and London.
  2. Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. B12 -Health Professional/

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