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Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease
Discipline of Nutrition and Metabolism, School of Molecular Bioscience, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2010; Accepted: 1 March 2010 / Published: 5 March 2010
Abstract: Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA synthesis and for cellular energy production. This review aims to outline the metabolism of vitamin B12, and to evaluate the causes and consequences of sub-clinical vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency is common, mainly due to limited dietary intake of animal foods or malabsorption of the vitamin. Vegetarians are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency as are other groups with low intakes of animal foods or those with restrictive dietary patterns. Malabsorption of vitamin B12 is most commonly seen in the elderly, secondary to gastric achlorhydria. The symptoms of sub-clinical deficiency are subtle and often not recognized. The long-term consequences of sub-clinical deficiency are not fully known but may include adverse effects on pregnancy outcomes, vascular, cognitive, bone and eye health.
Keywords: vitamin B12; physiology; nutrition; adults; chronic disease
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
O’Leary, F.; Samman, S. Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease. Nutrients 2010, 2, 299-316.
O’Leary F, Samman S. Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2010; 2(3):299-316.
O’Leary, Fiona; Samman, Samir. 2010. "Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease." Nutrients 2, no. 3: 299-316.