To Your Health
December, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 12)
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Vitamin B-12 Deficient? This Might Be Why

When most people seek help for issues with gastrointestinal issues and acid reflux they turn to acid-suppressing drugs such as proton-pump inhibitors. Many of these are available over-the-counter and by prescription.

Turns out many of these drugs are being highlighted by new studies reported in the New York Times for having an impact of low B12 levels in people.

The study came from researchers of Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., examined the medical records of 25,956 adults who received vitamin B12 deficiency diagnoses between 1997 and 2011, comparing them with 184,199 patients without B12 deficiency during that period. Patients who took P.P.I's for more than two years were 65 percent more likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency, the researchers found. Higher doses of P.P.I's were more strongly associated with the vitamin deficiency, according to the report.

Twelve percent of patients deficient in vitamin B12 had used P.P.I.'s for two years or more, compared with 7.2 percent of control patients. The risk of deficiency was less pronounced among patients using H2RA's long term: 4.2 percent, compared with 3.2 percent of nonusers.

Ask your doctor if you have any concerns how this might be affecting your B12 levels.