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B 12 also called cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin. B12 is present in foods derived from animal products. B12 is involved in the normal functioning of cells. This includes red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. A B12 deficiency will present as a megaloblastic anemia on laboratory testing. Multiple studies of older adults have shown higher prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in older adults.

Who will benefit from B12 supplementation

  • People who take certain medications such as metformin, Proton pump inhibitors, and methotrexate.
  • Problems with intestinal absorption of vitamins
  • Vegan and vegetarian diets
  • Older adults

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

  • Depression and mood impairment
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Cognitive slowing
  • Forgetfulness
  • Dementia
  • Psychosis
  • Visual disturbances
  • Peripheral sensory deficits
  • Weakness, which may progress to paraplegia and incontinence if severe
  • Impaired position sense
  • Impaired Vibration sense
  • Balance problems
  • Restless leg syndrome

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