Orlando, Florida — In a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it has been reported that individuals who take drugs for acid reflux and peptic ulcers are more likely to develop Vitamin B12 deficiency. These drugs include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs).

Vitamin B12 can be found in animal products, but sufficient levels of stomach acid are needed to absorb the B complex vitamin. However, PPIs and H2RAs control stomach acid production, and this may cause malabsorption of the vitamin, eventually leading to deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is needed for DNA synthesis, maintenance of the nervous system, and production of new and healthy red blood cells. Consequently, deficiency of it poses serious health problems including nerve damage and dementia. However, according to Dr. Douglas Corley, the senior author of the study, this does not necessarily mean that people prescribed with these drugs should stop taking their medications. He added that what it raised was the question whether people who take these medications should get their levels of vitamin B12 checked.

Moreover, people can get their sources of the B complex vitamin from eating animal products and vitamin B12-fortified foods. More importantly, they can also get through supplementation with Vitamin B12 liquid drops.

“Vitamin B12, like the other B vitamins, is important for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system.” — The New York Times Health Guide

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