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Posts Tagged ‘red blood cells’

What Causes Pernicious Anemia?

Thursday, October 10th, 2013



There are many causes of pernicious anemia, including autoimmune conditions, medications, and damage to the intestines. Vitamin B12 deficiency caused by vegan dieting is not considered a cause of pernicious anemia, as it can be reversed by eating foods containing ample amounts of vitamin B12.

What Causes Pernicious Anemia?

Digestive illnesses

Crohn’s disease, celiac, and fibromyalgia can impair your ability to produce intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme that is needed in order to extract vitamin B12 from food and replenish supplies of vitamin B12 in the blood stream. Pernicious anemia is often comorbid with illnesses that affect the gastrointestinal system. For prevention, check vitamin B12 levels routinely and supplement with non-pill forms of vitamin B12.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis


If either of your parents or grandparents suffered from pernicious anemia, then you are also a high risk category for vitamin B12 deficiency. With frequent testing, you can catch the onset of vitamin B12 deficiency before it advances to pernicious anemia.

Pernicious Anemia- What’s your Risk?

Medication-induced vitamin B12 deficiency

Certain medications can eventually impair your ability to absorb vitamin B12, leading to pernicious anemia; these include PPIs used to treat GERD (acid reflux), metformin for diabetes, and various antibiotics, NSAIDs and antidepressants. If you are on long-term medication, check to see if you are a risk factor for megaloblastic anemia and use vitamin B12 supplements.

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Gastrointestinal surgery

If you have had bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) or surgical treatments for illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, then pernicious anemia may result because of vitamin B12 malabsorption. To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, supplement with non-oral forms of vitamin B12.

Please tell us…

Do you get enough vitamin B12 to prevent symptoms of pernicious anemia, or would you feel better if your doctor would prescribe more vitamin B12?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Like this? Read more:

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Bariatric Surgery

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Image courtesy of keepingtime_ca/flickr

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013



Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia that occurs with severe vitamin B12 deficiency. To find the right treatment and understand symptoms of fatigue, depression, and chronic pain, it helps to understand how pernicious anemia impairs your red blood cells and what you can do for prevention.

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

Megaloblastic anemia

There are several types of anemia, and they are usually classified by the way they impair red blood cells in size and shape. Specifically, megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder in which red blood cells called megaloblasts become too large to function properly, resulting in fewer healthy red blood cells needed to deliver oxygen throughout your body; symptoms of memory loss, extreme fatigue, dizziness, and agitation occur when your vital organs and tissues don’t receive enough oxygen.

Quick facts:

  • With megaloblastic anemia, your body starts producing red blood cells that are overlarge, misshapen, and poorly developed.
  • New red blood cells do not mature- they die before their life expectancy.
  • Healthy red blood cells become replaced by these distorted megaloblasts.
  • Bone marrow starts producing fewer red blood cells.
  • Your body starts receiving less oxygen, causing a breakdown in various bodily functions of the organs, tissues, and nervous system.

Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 malabsorption, the inability to digest vitamin B12 found in meat, fish, dairy, and egg products. Since vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy red blood cell production, long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can progress into severe pernicious anemia, a once-fatal condition that is now prevented through vitamin B12 supplementation.

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Quick facts:

  • Pernicious anemia occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Pernicious anemia used to be fatal, until scientists discovered that symptoms could be cured with vitamin B12 supplementation.
  • Foods richest in vitamin B12 are seafood and organ meats.
  • Even if you eat plenty of beef, chicken, and fish, you may still have vitamin B12 deficiency through lack of intrinsic factor, an enzyme needed to digest and absorb vitamin B12.
  • Pernicious anemia is one type of megaloblastic anemia; another type occurs with folic acid deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Type of Anemia: True or False?

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with pernicious anemia or another type of megaloblastic anemia? If so, what kind of vitamin B12 supplements do you use- vitamin B12 shots or over-the-counter vitamin B12?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Getting Enough Vitamin B12? Three Reasons Why You Might Not Be

Image courtesy of Genista/flickr

Is it Anemia from Vitamin B12 Deficiency, or Low Iron?

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013



Constant fatigue, dizziness, and brain fog may be a sign that you’re suffering anemia, either from vitamin B12 deficiency, low iron, or one of many other factors that cause your red blood cell supplies to dip to dangerously low levels. Listed below are some of the major types of anemia, including pernicious anemia, and some of the risk factors involved.

Is it Anemia from Vitamin B12 Deficiency, or Low Iron? B12 Patch

Please note: The following information is not medical advice; if you suspect you suffer from anemia, then please speak to a physician immediately.

What is anemia?

Basically, anemia is a set of conditions that occur when your body doesn’t have a healthy supply of red blood cells. Anemia can occur from blood loss, exposure to toxins, autoimmune illness, or vitamin deficiencies, such as low vitamin B12 or iron.

Overall, there are over 400 types of anemia, all of which can be broken down into three categories:

Anemia caused by loss of blood, such as following an injury or complications during pregnancy

Anemia caused by depleted red blood cells, either as a result of slowed production or deformed blood cells (such as with pernicious anemia)

Anemia caused by damaged red blood cells

What causes anemia?

Different types of anemia are categorized according to their cause. For example, pernicious anemia is caused by low levels of vitamin B12, and folate deficiency anemia is caused by insufficient folic acid.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

The many types of anemia include:

•Pernicious anemia, a type of megaloblastic anemia, which occurs when the body produces large, irregularly shaped red blood cells that are unable to deliver oxygen. This used to be considered a fatal condition, but thanks to the discovery of vitamin B12 supplementation, the mortality rate associated with pernicious anemia has dropped considerably, although there are still rare cases of infants failing to thrive as a result of unaddressed vitamin B12 deficiency in the mother while pregnant or nursing.

•Iron deficiency anemia symptoms occur because your body is not getting enough iron, an essential mineral for producing hemoglobin. Increasing your dietary or supplemental intake of iron is necessary in order to reverse symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, and loss of concentration.

•Chronic disease anemia results from a chronic condition interfering with red blood cell production; examples include anemia associated with Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.

•Anemia from blood loss can result from excessively heavy menstruation, childbirth complications, severe injury, or ulcers.

•Aplastic anemia is an extremely rare condition that occurs when your bone marrow is not able to produce red blood cells; this is a fatal type of anemia that may result from autoimmune disorders, infections, or dangerous drug interactions.

•Sickle cell anemia is a genetically-inherited condition, and results from deformed red blood cells that are unable to thrive.

•Bone marrow disease anemia happens when red blood cell production in the bone marrow either slows down, or comes to a complete halt. Illnesses associated with bone marrow disease are leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma.

Find out how anemia is diagnosed, treated, and prevented in our next installment.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 1


Understanding Anemia: Types, Symptoms and Treatment

Anemia Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diet, and Treatment

Image courtesy of rpongsaj/flickr

Borderline Pernicious Anemia- What’s the Difference?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013



Severe vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to develop; if you’ve been diagnosed with borderline pernicious anemia, then there’s still time for you to prevent permanent nerve damage and boost healthy red blood cells…

Borderline Pernicious Anemia- What’s the Difference? B12 Patch

B12 deficiency is pernicious and sinister

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 3.2% of middle-aged individuals have dangerously low levels of vitamin B12, resulting in symptoms such as constant fatigue, memory loss, depression, and painful numbness and tingling in the extremities.

Additionally, a whopping 20% of people from the same age group have borderline pernicious anemia, meaning that their vitamin B12 levels are steadily plummeting, although none of the characteristic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency have manifested themselves…yet.

Untreated, borderline pernicious anemia, or subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency, can quickly escalate into full-blown clinical pernicious anemia, causing more than just a few debilitating symptoms.

Long-term pernicious anemia can lead to irreversible nerve damage, blood diseases, an increased risk for heart attack or stroke, and in worst-case scenarios, death.

Risk factors

Pernicious anemia is not exactly a disease, but rather a condition that can occur as a result of an underlying illness or other risk factors.

Risk factors for pernicious anemia or any other forms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Gastrointestinal disease (Crohn’s disease, gastritis, stomach ulcers)
  • Family history for pernicious anemia
  • Family history for autoimmune disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Removal of ilium
  • Alcoholism
  • Old age
  • Strict vegan dieting

For more, read Seven Stages of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

What are the symptoms of borderline pernicious anemia?

Unfortunately, there are rarely any apparent symptoms when vitamin B12 deficiency is still at the subclinical stage.

Sometimes, a blood test can confirm if vitamin B12 levels are noticeably low, but not always. Most vitamin B12 blood screenings test for total vitamin B12 molecules in your entire body, without distinguishing between “active B12” and dormant B12 which sits in your liver.

If you fall into any of the risk factors for even borderline pernicious anemia, then you should supplement with extra vitamin B12, even if you haven’t noticed any of the telltale symptoms, in order to prevent depletion.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable


Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful

Natural History and Prevalence of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency should be on your Radar Screen

Image courtesy of Thirteen Of Clubs/flickr

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011



If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then it is important to recognize the symptoms of pernicious anemia, as low levels of B12 (cobalamin) may be caused by this form of megaloblastic anemia, a potentially life-threatening disease.


What is pernicious anemia?

Pernicious anemia is a digestive disorder that causes vitamin B12 deficiency. Because one of the side effects involves grossly misshapen and enlarged red blood cells, pernicious anemia has been classified as a type of megaloblastic anemia.

With pernicious anemia, your body is unable to digest vitamin B12 from food sources, due to a lack of the intrinsic factor digestive enzyme. As a result, after several years, your vitamin B12 stores plummet to a dangerous low.

Since vitamin B12 is crucial for all sorts of biochemical reactions, such as protecting your nerve cells through myelin production, converting fat into energy, and supporting red blood cell production, the results of pernicious anemia can be debilitating.


Avoid vitamin B12 deficiency

The best way to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency is to include animal-based protein foods in your diet, particularly beef liver, clams, oysters, poultry, eggs, milk, and yogurt.

Still, eating meat and dairy products does not guarantee you will not become deficient in vitamin B12, as there are many risk factors that can inhibit proper absorption of this vitamin.

Who’s at risk?

People at risk for developing B12 deficiency are:

  • people who exclude primary sources of vitamin B12 from their diet (vegans)
  • the elderly
  • people who have had bariatric surgery
  • diabetics taking metformin
  • anybody using long-term medication for acid-reflux
  • individuals with gastrointestinal disease (IBD, celiac)
  • people who cannot produce intrinsic factor, a necessary hormone for digesting vitamin B12


Signs of megaloblastic (pernicious) anemia

The most common symptoms of pernicious anemia are:

  • Muscular weakness
  • Frequent tingling or numbness in your hands and feet, described as “pins and needles”
  • Difficulty walking balanced
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Swollen, red tongue
  • Irritability
  • Chronic fatigue, constant tiredness
  • Hypertension

What tests diagnose pernicious anemia?

The only way to find out if your vitamin B12 deficiency has turned into pernicious anemia is to request the following diagnostic tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Vitamin B12 blood levels
  • Methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels
  • Holotranscobalamin II levels
  • LDH levels
  • Reticulocyte count
  • Bone marrow examination


What is the treatment for pernicious anemia?

Patients of pernicious anemia need to get routine doses of vitamin B12 supplements, usually in the form of vitamin B12 shots.  The amount and frequency of B12 injections depend on the severity of the pernicious anemia symptoms.

For extra doses of vitamin B12 between doctor visits, B12-anemia patients have the option of supplementing with over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12, as well.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms:

“I’ve heard of the X Factor and Fear Factor…But what’s Intrinsic Factor?”

WhichTests check Absorption of Vitamin B12?

Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia


Pernicious anemia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Megaloblastic (Pernicious) Anemia

Pernicious Anemia – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Pernicious Anemia – NY Times Health Information

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Image credits, from top:

blakespot, ssoosay, jimbrickett, James Tan Chin Choy

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011



Is there any connection between lupus and vitamin B12 deficiency? That’s a question asked often both by people with low B12 and diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both autoimmune diseases share similar symptoms, and it’s important to know how to tell the difference.


Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia

What is lupus?

Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to your muscles, bones, organs, and skin tissue.  Like other autoimmune disorders, lupus causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy cells tissue, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain.  Damage to your system may include kidney damage, heart attack, lung damage, joint pain, and blood diseases such as anemia (more on this later).


100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Symptoms of B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the US. Even if you eat plenty of sources rich in vitamin B12 (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk), your B12 levels may be at risk if you have had bariatric surgery, take antacid medicine for acid reflux, are among the elderly, have a gastrointestinal autoimmune disease like Crohn’s or celiac disease, or if you are a diabetic taking metformin.

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

How does lupus mimic vitamin B12 deficiency?

Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it difficult to determine low B12 levels without taking a vitamin B12 blood test.

  • LUPUS AND VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY- WHAT’S THE CONNECTION? WWW.B12PATCH.COMCognitive functioning and mood disorders. Anxiety, depression, headaches, and short-term memory loss are symptoms common to both lupus patients and vitamin B12 deficiency sufferers.
  • Chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue shares a comorbid relationship with lupus and B12 deficiency.
  • Nerve damage. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes neurological damage such as aching joints and arthritis-like muscular pain.  Lupus causes swollen joints, arthritis, and inflamed joints.
  • Shortness of breath is a symptom of low B12 and lupus.
  • Hair loss. B12 deficiency may cause premature hair loss and greying.  Hair loss is also a symptom common to lupus patients.
  • Mouth ulcers are typical for vitamin B12 patients and lupus sufferers.
  • Skin rashes are a side effect of chronic B12 deficiency.  Likewise, lupus patients suffer skin rashes across the cheeks and nose (malar rash).
  • Anemia. One of the most highly correlated symptoms shared by vitamin B12 deficiency patients and lupus patients alike is the susceptibility to anemia.  Left untreated, pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe nerve damage, red blood cell depletion, and cognitive impairments. More than half of all lupus patients suffer from blood disorders like anemia.
  • Heart disease. Lupus and pernicious anemia patients alike are at high risk for contracting heart disease.
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis) is a risk factor for lupus patients and individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Read more about B12 deficiency and autoimmune diseases:

Vitamin B12 and your Bones- Osteoporosis from B12 Deficiency

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info

7 Celebs with Lupus


Lupus Hope- Get Your B12 Levels Checked!

Lupus Foundation of America- Blood Disorders

Vitamin B12 For Lupus & Crohn’s Disease- LIVESTRONG.COM

What is Lupus?

Image credits, from top:

Ton Haex, taysm, grietgriet

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011



Vitamin B12 deficiency can start with a few symptoms like tiredness and slight tingling or numbness in hands and feet; ignore the symptoms and low B12 levels could escalate into severe nerve damage, disease or death.


What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Below is a list of some of the most common side effects which may arise from insufficient stores of vitamin B12.

(Please note that the severity of the symptoms may vary according to the stage of B12 deficiency.)

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep problems
  • Frailness
  • Imbalance, difficulty walking with coordination
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and/or feet
  • Altered taste perception
  • Heart palpitations
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Also read: B12 Deficiency can really Get on your Nerves

B12 and your body

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient. Therefore, your body is only able to store it for a short time. Vitamin B12 has many important functions in your body.

  • Vitamin B12 is essential for producing plenty of healthy red blood cells and for synthesizing DNA. A lack of B12 severely reduces your body’s ability to make sufficient red blood cells for carrying oxygen throughout your body.
  • Pernicious anemia is a life-threatening condition that is often the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Your nervous system is dependent on vitamin B12, which enhances communication between the brain and your many nerve sensors, such as those in your fingertips, feet and mouth. This explains why sufferers of B12 deficiency notice a sensation similar to wearing gloves throughout the day; others report that their food tastes unusual, another clue that the body’s neurons are not operating correctly.
  • A deficiency of vitamin B12 compromises your nervous system and could result in permanent neurological damage.
  • Researchers have found a direct link between vitamin B12 deficiency and brain atrophy among the elderly. In one study which appeared in the Journal of Nutrition, senior citizens who had the highest levels of B12 experienced healthier cognitive functioning skills.
  • Also read Now Eat This: Preventing Age Related Hearing Loss
  • Vitamin B12 helps your body monitor already healthy homocysteine levels, a factor in heart health.

What diseases are associated with B12 deficiency?

There are many illnesses which occur when B12 levels are low; some conditions may be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, while others are closely correlated. Below are some common illnesses associated with B12 deficiency, including many which most people don’t realize are affected by vitamin B12 levels.

  • Alzheimer’s disease, brain deterioration, cognitive decline, memory loss and other forms of dementia
  • Neurological diseases such as Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Cardiovascular disease, caused by high homocysteine levels
  • Mental illness, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and psychosis
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as AIDS and pernicious anemia
  • Infertility

Eating Your Way Out of Depression with B-12

B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed

According to a Tufts University study, 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have low to medium-low B12 levels, indicating a deficiency severe enough to cause neurological disorder symptoms, while 9 percent are depleted enough to the point of irreversible neurological damage and life-threatening symptoms. Approximately 16 percent are close to becoming vitamin B12 deficient.

Why is vitamin B12 deficiency overlooked?

Only a blood test can properly determine if somebody is suffering from B12 deficiency, and most physicians don’t include a B12 screening with yearly check-ups. Also, many of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are similar to common health disorders, such as diabetes, chronic depression and fatigue.

How can you get enough B12?

Vitamin B12 is found in many high protein foods. Excellent sources of B12 are:

  • Lean beef cuts, such as chuck and sirloin
  • Poultry
  • Fish, particularly salmon, tuna and halibut
  • Shellfish, including crab meat, mussels, clams and oysters
  • Dairy products, such as swiss cheese, yogurt, milk and cottage cheese
  • Eggs

Vegans are at a high risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as their diet specifically excludes food items which provide vitamin B12. Other people who are at risk of getting B12 deficiency are patients of weight loss surgery, diabetics on metformin, individuals with gastrointestinal disease, people who lack intrinsic factor and anybody taking prescription heartburn medication.

The only way to prevent becoming deficient in vitamin B12 is by constantly replenishing your body with B12-rich nutrients.

Alternatively, patients diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency are encouraged to take vitamin B12 supplements, such as sublingual B12 tablets, B12 shots, or over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12.

Find more information on preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:

Getting Enough Vitamin B12? Three Reasons Why You Might Not B

On Becoming Vegan: Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Others

Eating Your Way Out of Depression with B-12

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

We’ve all heard of overeaters binging themselves into a state of depression- a vicious circle which is difficult to get out of. But eating for happiness?

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is linked with depression

Vitamin B12 is essential for many aspects of brain development, such as myelination (the production of a protective layer around the brain) and the distributing of neurotransmitters to and from the brain. So it comes as no surprise that the Mayo Clinic suggests eating foods rich in vitamin B-12 as a means of preventing the onset of clinical depression.

“Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”

That’s a great motto if you happen to be an android. The fact is, eating is a sensual experience which we were meant to enjoy. (Why else would we have taste buds?) The key to good nutrition is finding foods you love that will love you right back.

Male depression is on the rise. Is it the recession or “Manpression?

Here are some yummy appetizers and entrées which are naturally high in vitamin B-12:

  • Fish tacos- Made popular by Rubio’s, the fish tacos is a tasty fusion of Cal-Mex and seafood cuisine.  Take a soft flour tortilla, add some fiery mango salsa, a dab of sour cream and a grilled fish fillet (hint: salmon is high in B-12).  It’s a wrap!
  • Are you a Sushi lover? Then you’re going to love this- sushi and sashimi recipes typically include such high-in-B12 ingredients as roe (fish eggs), octopus, crab, shrimp, and mackerel. Pass the soy sauce!
  • New England clam chowder- just the name elicits images of salty sea breezes, sailboats and clam bakes. Don’t have any recipes handy? Here is a list of variations on this classic soup recipe.
  • Lean cuts of lamb are high in vitamin B-12 and a popular staple of many Middle Eastern cuisines. Here is a flavorful Lamb Moussaka recipe, as featured in epicurious.
  • Tuna casserole is one of America’s fave comfort foods and it’s simple to make- combine canned tuna, cooked broad noodles, and a can of concentrated mushroom soup. Top it with some fried onions and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Tuna is high in B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Hamburgers barbecued with low-fat ground beef chuck are a great source of vitamin B-12. Serve it up on whole-grain buns with a side of oven roasted root veggies for a healthy upgrade from the typical artery-clogging burgers ‘n fries.




Getting Enough Vitamin B12? Three Reasons Why You Might Not Be

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Have you checked your Vitamin B12 levels lately? If you’re over 30, then you should; your chances of becoming deficient increase with age.

What are some of the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency?

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased aggression
  • depression

Most of us eat about 15 mcg. of Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) everyday, which is more than the USRDA of only 2 mcg.  Good sources include most meat, fish and dairy products. However, scientists recommend 200 times that amount in order to prevent getting Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Why you need Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for healthy red blood cell reproduction and neurological functioning. A deficiency can have serious consequences which, left untreated, can be life threatening.

Diseases resulting from Vitamin B12 deficiency include:


Megaloblastic anemia


Neurological illness

Peripheral neuropathy


Combined systems disease

Psychiatric illness


Loss of short-term memory, dementia


Psychotic behavior

Cardiovascular disease

Increased likelihood for heart attack or stroke

Three Causes for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

1) Nutrition

Foods that are highest in Vitamin B12 include shellfish, liver, beef and cheese. Vegans are at high risk of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency and must take regular vitamin supplements to compensate.

2) Malabsorption syndromes

Some people are unable to utilize the Vitamin B12 found in food products and tend to develop Vitamin B12 deficiency. Pernicious anemia is an example of an autoimmune disease which results from a low presence of the intrinsic factor antibody, which attaches itself to and aids in the absorption of Vitamin B12.

3) Gastrointestinal causes

Dyspepsia, or indigestion, is another common cause of low Vitamin B12 since excess stomach acids make it difficult for the body to absorb Vitamin B12 properly.

Sufferers of Crohn’s disease are at particular risk and must supplement with vitamins in order to avoid severe malnourishment.

Patients who have had gastric bypass or other intestinal surgery are likely to develop B12 deficiency due to bacterial residue.

Treatment for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have Vitamin B12 Deficiency; a simple blood test is all that is required for a diagnosis.

Once Vitamin B12 deficiency is determined your physician will prescribe a regimen of Vitamin B12 supplements, usually in the form of intramuscular injections followed up by sublingual tablets.


American Family Physician


Web MD

Wall Street Journal



Foods That Naturally Contain Vitamin B 12

Monday, December 28th, 2009

The benefits of Vitamin B 12 have been long known. During the nineteen sixties and seventies Vitamin B 12 shots were frequently offered at the family Doctor’s office to assist with a list of ailments, it was a very common practice than during the nineteen eighties and nineties it was kind of shelved as other products were more prevalently offered to treat ailments. Vitamin B12 is a complex combination of necessary nutrients that sustains metabolism and assists in the production of red blood cells, a Vitamin B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed as a slew of illnesses. A simple blood test can determine if there is a Vitamin B12 deficiency but it is often overlooked. There are primarily two ways to insure that the Vitamin B12 levels are sufficient. The first way is the simplest, through a well rounded diet; the second way is through supplements.

Delivery Methods of Vitamin B12
There are quite a few delivery methods of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 can be delivered via, tablets, capsules, sublingual drops and shots. The most common form of delivery is through tablets, capsules and pills. It is the simplest and most common way for folks to take a Vitamin B 12 supplement. Oddly enough it is the least effective way of taking Vitamin B 12. The body usually does not recognize the pill as nutrients and it passes through the system without much absorption taking place. There are some Vitamin B12 tablets that are manufactured from crushed food particles, studies show that the crushed food particle tablets are absorbed better than the traditional tablets.
Vitamin B12 sublingual drops are one of the most effective delivery methods of Vitamin B 12. The drops are placed under the tongue and quickly absorbed into the blood stream by the many arteries that are located under the tongue. The most effective artificial delivery method of Vitamin B 12 is the Vitamin B 12 shots. All of these methods will deliver supplemental Vitamin B 12 to the body, but they are all artificial methods of delivering Vitamin B 12. Most people will get all the Vitamin B 12 they need from the food they eat as long as they eat it in appropriate quantities.

List Of Foods
Vitamin B 12 is generally found in foods that are derived from animal products, it is not generally found in vegetation. The following is a brief list of food that naturally contain Vitamin B 12:

1 Beef Liver
2 Beef Steak
3 Ground Beef
4 Trout
5 Salmon
6 Haddock
7 Tuna
8 Ham and Other Pork Products
9 Chicken
10 Cheeses
11 Eggs
12 Whole Milk

As part of a well rounded diet Vitamin B 12 can be easily absorbed and processed by the body. The body easily recognizes the nutrients when they come from food. Diets that are high in low fat animal products will supply the body with an ample amount of Vitamin B12 and in absence of a medical condition should be a sufficient supply according to the Recommended Daily Allowances according to published reports by the US Department of Agriculture.

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