Risk Factors For Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Some people, including seniors, have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegans also have a higher risk, since its difficult to get the vitamin from food not sourced from animals.
Seniors may be predisposed to vitamin B12 deficiency, especially if they suffer from health conditions. Additionally, seniors with pernicious anemia are at higher risk for a deficiency. Thats because this disorder makes it hard for your body to produce intrinsic factor , a protein that plays a key role in the absorption of vitamin B12.
Digestive disorders including Celiac disease, atrophic gastritis, and shortened small intestines can all increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency since nutrients arent as easily absorbed. Crohns disease and pernicious anemia may also increase the risk of malabsorption.
Taking certain medications may also inhibit B12 absorption in seniors. Metformin, a drug used to treat diabetes and chloramphenicol, may make it difficult for your body to absorb B vitamins. Heartburn medications including proton pump inhibitors can also increase your deficiency risk.
Vitamin B12 Dosages For Different Applications
With this knowledge in mind, all apparent contradictions of the different B12 dosages are suddenly resolved. Lets take a look at them.
|passive diffusion||5 6 µg|
Despite the different dosages, it is striking that the amounts of B12 absorbed in the end are very similar to one another. The remaining differences can also be explained quite simply: for example, the greater need for anemia patients, by the fact that not only is the intrinsic factor switched off, but their ability for passive diffusion is diminished.
The discrepancy between the values of the IOM and those of recent studies on healthy people may be explained by the fact that the former represent minimal arithmetic values that assume an optimal uptake in completely healthy people, whereas the current studies represent practically determined values, which take into account real-life fluctuations.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment When And Why
In many cases this is done with injections, since most professionals believe that this method allows for a much higher intake than oral therapy. Numerous studies have shown however that taking vitamin B12 orally as a treatment can have just as good results.
When: in the case of a confirmed B12 deficiency or when symptoms are clear .
Dose: either: 1000 µg per day or: 5000 µg per day.
Period: 1000 µg for 3-6 months or 5000 µg for 4 weeks.
For more information on B12 treatment with injections, .
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What Does The Department Of Health And Social Care Advise
You should be able to get the amount of niacin you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
If you take niacin supplements, do not take too much as this might be harmful.
Taking 17mg or less of nicotinic acid supplements a day, or 500mg or less of nicotinamide supplements a day, is unlikely to cause any harm.
Vitamin B1: Calculated Dosages
The intake of B12 can be calculated as follows:
Intake = 1.5 + dose/100
The first 1.5 µg represent the intake via the intrinsic factor the second part, via passive diffusion. With a dosage of 200 µg the intake would be: 1.5 µg + 200/100 µg = 3.5 µg. This calculated intake can nonetheless be significantly compromised as a result of various absorption disorders, further explored in our article: Vitamin B12 Malabsorption
Guidelines Of Vitamin B12 Supplementation
What should your blood level of vitamin B12 be?
As a rule of thumb, vitamin B12 blood values below 170250 pg/mL for adults indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency. Furthermore, blood values of homocysteine levels higher than 13 micromol/L or blood values of methylmalonic higher than 0.4 micromol/L might also suggest a vitamin B12 deficiency.
How long does it take for vitamin B12 supplements to work?
Every person reacts differently to vitamin B12 supplementation. Older persons may need vitamin B12 injections, in order, to increase their vitamin B12 blood levels. It takes about 72 hours for vitamin B12 injections to work.
What is the best time to take vitamin B12?
As vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, its dissolved in water. The best time to take vitamin B12 supplements is in the morning before eating breakfast or before a meal on an empty stomach.
Is it OK to take vitamin B12 at night?
The best time to take vitamin B12 is in the morning with an empty stomach. You better avoid taking vitamin B12 supplements at night, as high doses of vitamin B12 may affect sleep quality. You should eat foods high in melatonin, in order, to sleep better at night, as melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep.
Vitamin B12 Dosage For Seniors
There are people that cant absorb vitamin B12 from food or even oral supplements. In most cases, these are seniors who have reduced levels of stomach acidity or intestinal disorders.
For instance, up to 30% of elderly people may have atrophic gastritis, a condition the stomach cant secret enough hydrochloric acid, limiting the absorption of vitamin B12 from food or oral supplements.
However, vitamin B12 from supplements or even fortified foods is more absorbable. So, its recommended, people older than 50 years to take supplements or eat fortified foods! In most cases, 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12, once a week is enough.
Above all, consult your doctor if your blood vitamin B12 levels are low or have a health issue that inhibits vitamin B12 absorption.
Benefits of vitamin B12 injections
There are cases that people have severe vitamin B12 deficiency or cant absorb oral supplements or vitamin B12 from food. Then, vitamin B12 injections may be the best solution. Vitamin B12 injections bypass potential barriers to absorption.
Moreover, injections of high dosages of vitamin B12 are also safe. Even when vitamin B12 is administered intramuscularly up to 3000 times the recommended dietary allowance, it hasnt any toxic effect.
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Vitamin B12 Dosages: Treatment Or Supplementation
First and foremost, we need to distinguish between the two main applications of vitamin B12:
Folate And Folic Acid
Folate is a B vitamin found in many foods. The manmade form of folate is called folic acid.
Folate is also known as folacin and vitamin B9.
- the body form healthy red blood cells
- reduce the risk of birth defects called neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in unborn babies
A lack of folate could lead to folate deficiency anaemia.
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Vitamin B12 Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient thats required for many crucial processes in your body.
The ideal dose of vitamin B12 varies based on your gender, age, and reasons for taking it.
This article examines the evidence behind the recommended dosages for B12 for different people and uses.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in several of your bodys processes.
Its necessary for proper red blood cell production, DNA formation, nerve function, and metabolism .
Vitamin B12 also plays a key role in reducing levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, high levels of which have been linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimers .
Additionally, vitamin B12 is important for energy production. However, theres currently no evidence that taking B12 supplements increases energy levels in people who are not deficient in this nutrient .
Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products, including meats, seafood, dairy products, and eggs. Its also added to some processed foods, such as cereal and nondairy milk.
Because your body can store B12 for several years, serious B12 deficiency is rare, but up to 26% of the population may have a mild deficiency. Over time, B12 deficiency can lead to complications like anemia, nerve damage, and fatigue.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by not getting enough of this vitamin through your diet, problems with absorbing it, or taking a medication that interferes with its absorption .
This Is How Much Vitamin B12 You Should Take Daily
An essential requirement for the body, vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient. Apart from building metabolism it helps in proper functioning of the brain, and DNA formation. It can be stored in your body for several years, and there are rare cases of serious B12 deficiency. However, a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to anaemia, weakness and fatigue, and in some instances, nerve damage.
Here are a few factors that can cause insufficient levels of vitamin B12:
- Diet: Following a completely vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Age: People over 50 have higher chances of being low on B12.
- Anaemia: Pernicious anaemia arises due to inability of the body to absorb B12 that synthesises RBCs.
- Surgery: Bowel resection or weight loss surgeries decrease B12 absorption.
A widely known fact is that its found in abundance in animal products like eggs, dairy, seafood etc. The daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 depends on various factors like age, gender and lifestyle. You can reach your daily vitamin B12 requirement by taking supplements. This is the ideal dosage, depending on your age:
Adults under 50 years of age
For people over 14, the RDI for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg, which can be met through diet. Supplements are usually not recommended for these people. Foods like eggs, tuna, and beef can be included in the diet. However, a need to take supplements may arise if any of the above factors hinder in the absorption or intake of B12.
Adults over 50 years of age
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Signs Of Deficiency And Toxicity
Measuring vitamin B12 in the blood is actually not the best way to determine whether someone is deficient, as some people with a deficiency can show normal B12 blood levels. Blood levels of methylmalonic acid, a protein breakdown product, and homocysteine are better markers that capture actual vitamin B12 activity. These values increase with a vitamin B12 deficiency. It is estimated that up to 15% of the general population has a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Factors that may cause vitamin B12 deficiency:
Signs of deficiency may include:
- Megaloblastic anemiaa condition of larger than normal sized red blood cells and a smaller than normal amount this occurs because there is not enough vitamin B12 in the diet or poor absorption
- Pernicious anemiaa type of megaloblastic anemia caused by a lack of intrinsic factor so that vitamin B12 is not absorbed
- Fatigue, weakness
What Happens When Your Vitamin B12 Is Low
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia, neurological changes, constipation, loss of appetite, and even weight loss. Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are hair loss, lack of balance, depression, confusion, dementia, and poor memory.
Moreover, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, or soreness, as vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and plays a key role in energy metabolism! Red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen to the body!
Furthermore, vitamin B12 is required for DNA synthesis, good neurological function, and normal homocysteine values.
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Why Do We Need Vitamin B
Vitamin B-12 is exclusively produced by a microorganism and one can obtain by consuming meat foods and dairy products. It is a water-soluble vitamin, essential for human physiology. It is used as a co-factor by some enzymes such as methionine synthase and l-methyl-malonyl-coenzyme A mutase. B-12 is one of the important factors for gene synthesis, red blood cell synthesis, and for maintaining normal neurologic function. Its classic deficiency syndrome is pernicious anemia, malabsorption, and neurologic manifestation.
Single Dose Or Multiple Doses
An important factor in the dosage of B12 is whether the supplement is administered in a single dose or in several small doses. Biologically-speaking we are adapted to several small doses of B12, which are consumed throughout the day, whereby each time 1.5 2 micrograms of the vitamin is absorbed via the intrinsic factor.
Two doses of 3 g each lead to the same total uptake as a single dose of 150 g:
Multiple doses of 3 g: 2 x 1.5 g = 3 gSingle dose of 150 g: 1.5 + 150/100 g = 3 g
If you would rather cover your vitamin B12 requirement with small doses, it is best to split your intake into three. In contrast, if you prefer to take a single dose, the dose must be much higher, as here the passive diffusion of the vitamin is the pivotal process.
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How Much Vitamin B12 Should I Take Daily
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is only 2.4 mcg for most adults. Pregnant or lactating women need 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg respectively.
Although the recommended daily dosage for vitamin B12 may not sound much, vitamin B12 deficiency is pretty common! Up to 15% of the population fail to consume enough vitamin B12.
Thats because only a few foods contain vitamin B12. Actually, only foods from animal sources contain some amounts of vitamin B12. Either way, it may be tricky to meet the daily vitamin B12 needs from dietary sources.
Neither plant, nor animals produce vitamin B12. Only some soil bacteria produce it. When people used to drink water directly from lakes, wells, or streams there wasnt such thing, as vitamin B12 deficiency!
Is It Safe To Take B Complex Everyday
Since B vitamins are water-soluble, its unlikely that you will consume too much of these nutrients through diet alone or by taking a Bcomplex supplement as directed. However, taking supplements that contain excessively high and unnecessary quantities of Bcomplex vitamins could lead to serious side effects.
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What Is Iron Deficiency
Iron is an important part of our diet and contributes to the healthy functioning of our body. A deficiency in iron means that you have a lack of iron in your blood. This can lead to iron-deficiency anaemia.
How to avoid iron deficiency
Your body doesn’t make vitamin B12. That means you need to get it from food or supplements. We’l…
The common causes of iron deficiency include:
- Heavy menstrual periods.
- Dietary factors.
Recommended Dosage Of Vitamin B12 For Seniors
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is necessary for many functions in the body including red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and nervous system function. It is found naturally in many different foods and also added to others. Your need for vital nutrients may increase as you get older. Your health care provider may recommend a variety of nutritious food options to obtain nutrients and prevent deficiencies.
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The Need For Speed: How Much B
If you are someone who has trouble swallowing large vitamin pills or simply do not have the time to stop and take your vitamins every two hours, we would recommend that you try a liquid supplement called B-12 Max. B-12 Max is a liquid supplement that you simply place one drop under your tongue and allow it to be absorbed into your blood stream. Each bottle of B-12 Max contains 500 drops, so if you take one drop per day, each bottle will last you one month. You can take more than one drop per day if you want, but keep in mind that taking too much B12 can cause toxic reactions and should not be done without the advice of your doctor.
How Does Your Body Process Vitamin B12
The most prominent source of Vitamin B12 is found in animals products.
Animals get the B12 in two ways: eating grass that has B12 in the soil or through supplementation in their feed. The latter being the most common practice in our world today.
Since humans still eat animals, they get Vitamin B12 through their food. For example, when a person eats meat, the Vitamin B12 in that animals tissue enters the stomach.
This B12 is protein-bound, meaning it attaches itself to a protein molecule for transport. Before it enters the small intestine, it has to detach in the stomach.
Once the B12 detaches from the protein in the stomach, its picked up by a different protein molecule called intrinsic factor .
IF then enters the small intestine bound to Vitamin B12 and gets separated once again into a group called corrinoids .
These separated corrinoids attach one more time to a different form of IF and heads to its destination in the small intestine.
Once there, the receptors in the small intestine give the corrinoids first priority to absorb. This ensures the body gets this crucial vitamin over other nutrients that have passed through at the same time.
The supplemental form of B12 gets absorbed much easier through supplements than food. Thats because its not bound to protein like in animal tissue.
This makes the supplemental form of Vitamin B12 the most reliable form we have available.
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How Is Vitamin B12 Injection Given
Use Vitamin B12 exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
Vitamin B12 injection is injected into a muscle or under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.
Your dose needs may change if you become pregnant, if you breastfeed, or if you eat a vegetarian diet. Tell your doctor about any changes in your diet or medical condition.
Always follow directions on the medicine label about giving Vitamin B12 injection to a child. Your child’s dose will depend on age, weight, diet, and other factors.
For pernicious anemia, you may have to use Vitamin B12 injection for the rest of your life. Do not stop using the medicine unless your doctor tells you to. Untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia or irreversible nerve damage.
Pernicious anemia is also treated with folic acid to help maintain red blood cells. Folic acid alone will not treat Vitamin B12 deficiency or prevent possible damage to the spinal cord. Use all medications as directed.
You will need frequent medical tests.
Vitamin B12 can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Vitamin B12 injection.
Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.