Readers ask: Why Is B12 Deficiency Elderly?

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among the elderly. Elderly people are particularly at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because of the high prevalence of atrophic gastritis-associated food-cobalamin (vitamin B12) malabsorption, and the increasing prevalence of pernicious anaemia with advancing age.

Does vitamin B12 decrease with age?

Absorption of crystalline vitamin B12 does not decline with advancing age. However, compared with the younger population, absorption of protein-bound vitamin B12 is decreased in the elderly, owing to a high prevalence of atrophic gastritis in this age group.

Why does vitamin B12 deficiency occur?

What causes vitamin B12 deficiency anemia? Most people get more than enough B12 from eating meat, eggs, milk, and cheese. Normally, the vitamin is absorbed by your digestive system—your stomach and intestines. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia usually happens when the digestive system is not able to absorb the vitamin.

What is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults?

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among the elderly. Elderly people are particularly at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because of the high prevalence of atrophic gastritis-associated food-cobalamin (vitamin B12) malabsorption, and the increasing prevalence of pernicious anaemia with advancing age.

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

  • Pale or jaundiced skin.
  • Inflamed tongue.
  • Weakness and fatigue.
  • Tingling sensations in the hands or feet.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Shortness of breath or dizziness.
  • Changes in thinking, memory and mood.

What are the neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency?

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems, which affect your nervous system, such as:

  • vision problems.
  • memory loss.
  • pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • loss of physical co-ordination (ataxia), which can affect your whole body and cause difficulty speaking or walking.
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Why is vitamin B12 important for elderly?

Vitamin B12 B12 is important for creating red blood cells and DNA, and for maintaining healthy nerve function. “Getting enough B12 is a challenge for older people because they can’t absorb it from food as well as younger people,” says Tucker. “Even if your diet contains enough, you may be falling short.”

What is considered severe B12 deficiency?

A serum B12 above 300 pg/mL is interpreted as normal. Patients with B12 levels between 200 and 300 pg/mL are considered borderline, and further enzymatic testing may be helpful in diagnosis. Patients with B12 levels below 200 pg/mL are considered deficient.

Who is most at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?

Who is at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency anemia?

  • A family history of the disease.
  • Having part or all of your stomach or intestine removed.
  • Autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • HIV.
  • Some medicines.
  • Strict vegetarian diets.
  • Being an older adult.

How much vitamin B12 should a 70 year old take?

Dosages for Older People Around this age, you should be getting around 2.4 micrograms of B12 a day. Not only does this mean consciously eating foods that contain vitamin B12 but it also means that you should ingest this vitamin as a supplement. By taking supplements, you will ensure that your body absorbs vitamin B12.

How much B12 should an elderly person take?

Recommended Vitamin B12 Dosage for Seniors A recent study found that for seniors, a daily dose of 500 micrograms was efficient in reversing the signs of B12 deficiency. In general, experts recommend 2.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day for people over the age of 14.

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How long does it take to recover from low levels of B12 deficiency?

How Long Does It Take to Recover from B12 Deficiency? Once you begin treating your vitamin B12 deficiency, it can take up to six to 12 months to fully recover. It is also common to not experience any improvement during the first few months of treatment.

Can lack of B12 cause dementia?

Some studies suggest low vitamin B-12 levels may be associated with an increased risk of dementia. But supplementation with B vitamins has not been shown to improve brain function or symptoms of memory loss. Regardless of its role in memory, vitamin B-12 remains an important part of a healthy diet.

Is B12 deficiency serious?

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to serious complications such as nerve damage, anemia and fatigue, which is why those at risk should add a high-quality B12 supplement to their diet ( 2 ).

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