Vitamin B12 deficiency mimics Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) symptoms are seen when a person is deficient in vitamin B12, methylcobalamin. 40% of Americans and over 90% of vegans are deficient in vitamin B12. The reason strict vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B12 is that there are few non-animal foods containing methylcobalamin.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Memory loss, behavior changes, and increased agitation are common symptoms of a person deficient in vitamin B12. It is nearly impossible to know whether dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or vitamin B12 deficiency is responsible. Other symptoms associated with methylcobalamin deficiency are weight loss, fatigue, balance issues, and depression.

Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Atrophic gastritis and pernicious anemia are two conditions that block the absorption of methylcobalamin. Diseases such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease obstruct absorption of vitamin B12. Autoimmune diseases (Grave’s disease and lupus) prevent absorption of methylcobalamin.

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when taking certain prescription medicines such as proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix). H2 Blockers (Tagamet and Pepcid AC) and some diabetes medicines (metformin) impede vitamin B12 absorption.

Dietary choices are the most common cause of methylcobalamin deficiency. Strict vegans have difficulty finding sources of vitamin B12 that provide their minimum daily requirements.

Sources of Vitamin B12 Animal liver and kidneys, clams, sardine, and beef are high in methylcobalamin. Tuna, trout, and salmon are good sources of vitamin B12. Milk, dairy, eggs, and fortified cereals also provide methylcobalamin to the body.

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic vitamin B12. This synthetic version cannot meet the body’s daily needs because it cannot survive stomach acid as it passes through the digestive system. Natural methylcobalamin supplements are sublingual and taken under the tongue to bypass the digestive system.


Older adults have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Many times, a doctor will give a vitamin B12 shot to counter the shortage. Digestive systems of older adults contribute to low absorption of methylcobalamin.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



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