How to Detect & Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Aging Adults
Up to 20% of older adults may be deficient in vitamin B12, which is frequently overlooked by doctors. Treatment is safe and effective as long as the problem is caught before permanent damage occurs.
How Vitamin B12 Deficiency Harms Health
Vitamin B12 is required for the production of red blood cells as well as the proper function of nerve cells, and a person’s vitamin B12 levels may be low, resulting in health problems related to poor red blood cell production.
Why Low Vitamin B12 Levels Are Common in Older Adults
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms. Vitamin B12 is essential, but only a small amount is required every day. Low levels of stomach acid and medications that reduce stomach acid are risk factors for low levels in older adults.
Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Often Missed in Aging Adults
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in older adults, and symptoms include fatigue, anemia, neuropathy, memory problems, and walking difficulties. However, unlike many other problems that affect aging adults, vitamin B12 deficiency is treatable. The first step is to detect the problem, and then ensure that the treatment plan includes raising levels.
Who Should Be Checked for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
If you’re a vegetarian or have had stomach, pancreas, or intestine problems, you should have your vitamin B12 levels checked.
How Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Diagnosed and Treated
Doctors frequently test the blood for both folate and vitamin B12. Folate deficiency can cause a similar type of anemia (megaloblastic anemia), and a confirmatory blood test can be ordered to check for methylmalonic acid, which is higher than normal when people have Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Are There Other Benefits To Taking Vitamin B12 Supplements?
Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell and brain cell function, and a deficiency in this essential vitamin can be harmful to the body and brain. To help yourself or a loved one get the most out of this vitamin, focus on detecting and treating vitamin B12 deficiency.
What is normal level of vitamin B12 in elderly?
The laboratory diagnosis is usually based on low serum vitamin Bsub>12/sub> levels or elevated serum methylmalonic acid and homocysteine levels, but a threshold of 300 to 350 pg/mL is recognized as a marker for a desirable status in the elderly.
Is B12 good for seniors?
A healthy level of vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is one of the most important aspects of good nutrition for the elderly. Our bodies require this vitamin to make parts of our DNA, make red blood cells, and keep our nerve cells functioning properly, among other things.
Why do elderly have low B12 levels?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among the elderly, who are especially vulnerable to it due to the high prevalence of atrophic gastritis-related food-cobalamin (vitamin B12) malabsorption and the rising prevalence of pernicious anemia as they get older.
How much B12 should a 75 year old woman take?
Experts estimate that a Western diet contains 5-7 micrograms of vitamin B12, and a multivitamin often contains 12-25 micrograms. What is the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12 for seniors?
How much vitamin B12 does a senior woman need?
A recent study found that a daily dose of 500 micrograms of vitamin B12 was effective in reversing the signs of B12 deficiency in seniors; in general, experts recommend 2.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day for people over the age of 14.
What are the first signs of B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms
- A pale yellow tinge to your skin.
- a sore and red tongue (glossitis)
- mouth ulcers.
- Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- changes in your walking and movement patterns.
- Disturbed vision.
Why do older adults need B12 supplement?
Vitamin B12 is required for the formation of red blood cells and DNA, as well as the maintenance of healthy nerve function in older people. “Getting enough B12 is a challenge for older people because they can’t absorb it from food as well as younger people,” Tucker says. “Even if your diet contains enough, you may be falling short.”
How much B12 should a 70 year old woman take?
The recommended daily allowance for adults is 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12; experts estimate that a Western diet contains 5-7 micrograms of vitamin B12, and that a multivitamin often contains 12-25 micrograms.
How much B12 should a woman over 60 take daily?
When you’re in your 60s, you should start getting blood tests to check for vitamin B12 deficiency; you should be getting 2.4 micrograms of B12 per day at this age.
Who is most likely to have a B12 deficiency?
Who is at risk for anemia caused by a lack of vitamin B12?
- Having part or all of your stomach or intestine removed.
- Autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Some medicines.
- Strict vegetarian diets.
- Being an older adult.
What is the most common reason that vitamin B12 deficiency or at least compromised B12 status occurs in older adults?
Because stomach acid is required to liberate vitamin B12 from food, a lack of stomach acid is a much more common cause of B12 deficiency, especially in older people. An estimated 10-30% of adults over the age of 50 have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food.
How long does B12 deficiency take to correct?
How Long Does It Take to Recover from B12 Deficiency? It can take up to six to twelve months to fully recover from vitamin B12 deficiency, and it’s common to see no improvement during the first few months of treatment.
What Vitamins Should a 70 year old woman take?
The 7 Most Beneficial Vitamins for Seniors
- Vitamin D.
- B Vitamins.
- Vitamin C.
- Omega Fatty Acids.
- Coenzyme Q10.
- Multivitamin. A daily multivitamin can help ensure you get the nutritional elements you need to live an active, healthy lifestyle well into your golden years.
Is it OK to take 1000 mcg B12 daily?
The recommended dose for treating vitamin B12 deficiency is 1000 mcg per day, while the recommended dose for preventing vitamin B12 deficiency is 1500 mg or 2500 mcg per day (sublingual tablets).
What is the best way to take vitamin B12?
It can be taken orally, as a shot, or inhaled through the nose, with the shot working best in people with severe vitamin B12 deficiency or those who are unable to take vitamin B12 orally.