Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) deficiency
Vitamine B12 deficientie is a serious condition, which, if untreated, may lead to invalidity and death. Because vitamin 12 is involved in e.g. the production of DNA, blood corpuscles and a healthy nervous system, symptoms can be extremely diverse and serious. Even now, B12 or folate defiency still unnecessarily takes peoples’ lives (CBS, Feb 2016).
How often does it happen?
The Framingham Offspring B12 Study studied the prevalence of B12 deficiency (Tucker et al., 2000). Results were that 17 % of the population shows a deficiency with plasmalevels of <185 pmol/L. 39% percent of that population has a value of <258 pmol/L and 9 % has a value of < 148 pmol/L. Recent research by the English NHS supports these figures (Hunt, Harrington, & Robinson, 2014). Among senior citizens deficiency may rise to levels of 20 to 35% of the population.
Research also shows that vitamin B12 deficiency does not only occur among the elderly, but also among young people and even children.