Relationship of vitamin B12 deficiency and Crohn’s disease


The b12 vitamin it’s a essential micronutrient for the Health. However, many people find it difficult to have the proper levels of this vitamin in the body, which can lead to dangerous health conditions.

One of the characteristics of this vitamin is that they are only found in foods of animal origin. Therefore, people who follow a diet in which these foods are not consumed can develop deficiency of this vitamin.

In addition, another of the main causes of the lack of vitamin B12 is poor absorption by the body due to some type of problem in the process of metabolizing it. For example, people with Crohn’s disease find it difficult to properly absorb this micronutrient.

Vitamin B12 and Crohn’s disease

A study conducted by the University of Fuenlabrada (Madrid) started with the objective of knowing the incidence of the lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid in patients with Crohn’s disease, as well as the possible predictive factors of the appearance of said deficiency.

Crohn's disease
Person with Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a health condition in which certain parts of the digestive system are inflamed, such as the small intestine; which is precisely where the absorption of vitamin B12 and folic acid in the body takes place.

Thus, the lack of these vitamins is usually linked to the appearance of hematological alterations and increased levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for thrombosis.

Finally, this research work concluded that the lack of vitamin B12 and folate appears in a considerable proportion of patients with Crohn’s disease and can also be associated with anemia.

Thus, experts from the University of Fuenlabrada stress the need to control the levels of these vitamins through periodic blood tests.

Other causes of a lack of vitamin B12

In addition to a poor diet or Chron’s disease, there are many factors why a person can develop a lack of vitamin B12. On the other hand, people over 60 years of age also show a greater tendency to lack this micronutrient.

In order for the body to adequately absorb vitamin B12, a complex procedure is necessary. Two momentous phases are necessary. On the one hand, the hydrochloric acid in the stomach must separate the vitamin from the protein in which it is present in the food to be consumed.

Next, vitamin B12 is mixed with ‘intrinsic factor’; a protein produced by the stomach previously. However, some people tend to find it difficult to make this protein and therefore it is a problem for the absorption of this micronutrient from food.

Thus, these are some of the main causes of a lack of vitamin B12 in the body:

  • Diet deficient in foods with vitamin B12.
  • Diseases of the digestive system.
  • Vitiligo
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypoparathyroidism
  • Addison’s disease. Poor function of the adrenal glands.
  • Diseases of the intestine, such as Crohn’s disease.
  • The intake of certain medicines.

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