B12 Deficiency Anemia
Normally, the body’s reserves of vitamin B12 surpass daily requirements, but in certain cases, a deficiency can occur.
In the case of vitamin B12 deficiency, the symptoms can be subtle or even non-existent. Diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, loss of appetite and pale skin are some of the symptoms associated with this condition.
Here are some of the possible causes:
- Poorly balanced vegetarian diet
- Insufficient intake during childhood, breastfeeding and pregnancy
- Significant blood-loss
- Taking certain medications
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Poor absorption
- Lack of intrinsic factor (glycoprotein that helps the transport of the vitamin to the stomach so that it can be absorbed in the intestine)
Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Vitamin B12 (mcg / day)
|Children 1-3 y||0,9 mcg||0,9 mcg|
|Children 4-8 y||1,2 mcg||1,2 mcg|
|Children 9-13 y||1,8 mcg||1,8 mcg|
|Teenagers 14-18 y||2,4 mcg||2,4 mcg|
|Adults >19 y||2,4 mcg||2,4 mcg|
Most people can prevent this type of anemia by including animal products into their diet, such as milk, cheese and eggs. However, anemia is often treated with B12 supplements in the form of tablets or injection.
It is to be noted that strict vegetarians who do not consume any animal products or foods enriched with vitamin B12 are at risk of developing a deficiency. We advise those people to:
- Drink soya or rice milk enriched with vitamin B12
- Try nutritional yeast enriched with vitamin B12
- Consume meat substitutes (often made with soya) enriched with vitamin B12
- Take a vitamin B12 supplement, if needed.
- Eat a variety of foods and make sure to include foods that are rich in vitamin B12, like meat, dairy products and eggs.
- If you are vegetarian or vegan, here are a few tips to help maintain a healthy balanced diet, without deficiency:
A supplement is necessary if a person doesn’t have any intrinsic factor (glycoprotein that helps the transport of vitamin B12 to the stomach so that it can be absorbed by the intestine). Supplementation is also advisable for elderly people or those who have problems with absorption or intestinal inflammation.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin 12
|Beef Liver (cooked)||90 g
|Clam Chowder, canned, prepared with milk||250 ml
|Sockeye Salmon, cooked||90 g
|Regular ground beef, cooked||90 g
|Milk, 1%||250 ml
|Enriched Soy Beverage||250 ml
Here are 3 recipes high in vitamin B12 :
- Scampi Fettuccine
- Calf Liver Venetian-Style
- Shrimp and Broccoli Pasta with Turmeric
- Vegan Sweet Potato Gratin