Vitamin B12 deficiency should be on your radar screen for several reasons. Prevention, early detection, and treatment of vitamin B12deficiency are important public health issues, because they are essential to prevent development of irreversible neurologic damage which can impact quality of life
1. Vitamin B12deficiencies occur in adults 51 years of age or older at a frequency of 1 (3.2%) in every 31 persons, and manifest as serum vitamin B12levels below the cutpoint of 200 pg/mL.
2. All patients with unexplained hematologic or neurologic signs or symptoms should be evaluated for a vitamin B12deficiency. If found, the cause should be determined.
3. Today, megaloblastic anemia is most likely due to vitamin B12deficiency and needs prompt evaluation. In the United States, folic acid fortification has made folate deficient megaloblastic anemia a very rare condition.
4. Although the body’s ability to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12decreases with age, most people can readily use the synthetic form of cobalamin.
5. All people 51 years of age and older should get most of their daily vitamin B12through supplements containing vitamin B12or foods fortified with vitamin B12