Vitamin B12 deficiency may be a concern among patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and children infected with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
|B12 abnormalities were more common among Crohn’s patients.|
A University of Washington study reviewed the medical records of 201 patients with CD, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, to determine the prevalence of B12 deficiency. The prevalence of B12 deficiency in a control group of 40 patients with ulcerative colitis was also assessed. Vitamin B12 abnormalities were common among the CD patients, with 18.4% of them showing atypical blood levels compared to 5% of the controls. CD patients with a previous ileal or ileocolonic resection were found to be at particular risk. H. pylori infection, another digestive condition, also appears to be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Researchers in Turkey studied 50 youths age five to 18 who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy because of upper abdominal symptoms. Thirty-two of the patients were found to be H. pylori-positive and 18 were H. pylori-negative. Nine, or 28%, of those who were H. pylori-positive were also B12-deficient, compared to two, or 11%, of those who were H. pylori-negative. H. pylori infection was also found to negatively impact blood levels of ferritin, an iron-carrying protein that reflects the body’s long-term iron status. H. pylori is a bacterial organism that weakens the protective coating of the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), allowing digestive juices to irritate the sensitive lining below. Sources: Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2007 Sep 20; [Epub ahead of print]; Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Feb; 52(2):405-10. Epub 2007 Jan 9