Low levels B12 is something that I am seeing more and more of a problem. See if you are at a greater risk of having a low B12 levels. Check to see if any of the sources of B12 deficiency apply to you. If they do call me and we can help.
Surprising Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Since vitamin B12 is present in natural form only in animal sources of food, strict vegetarians and vegans are very high on the list of those who can expect to be B12 deficient.
Other sources of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
- Inadequate production of stomach acid -- The older you are, the less able your stomach is to produce the hydrochloric acid necessary to release B12 from the food you eat.
- Long-term use of antacid/antiulcer drugs -- Since hydrochloric acid is a requirement for the absorption of vitamin B12, it follows that if you’re taking an antacid, your stomach won’t be able to digest B12 out of your food. This class of drugs includes H2-receptor antagonists like Zantac and Tagamet, and proton pump inhibitors like Nexium and Prilosec.
- Use of the drug metformin for Type 2 diabetes -- Use of metformin (brand names include Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, Riomet, and Glumetza) may inhibit your B12 absorption, especially at higher doses.
- Infection with H. pylori bacteria -- If you suffer from a chronic Helicobacter pylori infection, you might be B12 deficient.
- Coffee consumption -- Four or more cups of coffee a day can reduce your B vitamin stores by as much as 15 percent.
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Exposure to nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
- And the LEADING cause of vitamin B12 deficiency: food-cobalamin malabsorption syndrome -- This condition results when your stomach lining loses its ability to produce intrinsic factor, a protein that binds to vitamin B12 and allows your body to absorb it into your bloodstream at the end of your small intestine.
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