Treatment of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If the cause of the deficiency is nutritional, dietary supplements containing vitamin B12 (usually 2.0 mgday_1) should be taken.

If the deficiency is due to malabsorption, apart from where the vitamin B12 deficiency may be due to gastric atrophy, a dietary remedy is not effective because it will be malabsorbed. Such malabsorption conditions must be treated by regular monthly or bimonthly injections of 1000 mg of vitamin B12 for life. If these injections are discontinued a return to the vitamin B12 deficiency state is inevitable. This is not only due to malabsorption of dietary vitamin B12 but also the 1 or 2 mg of vitamin B12 secreted daily in the bile will be malabsorbed leading to negative balance. If the deficiency is due to gastric atrophy, supplements providing 500-1000 mgday-1 can replete stores and maintain B12 status.

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