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Low Vitamin B12 Can Cause Bone Loss

Older women with low levels of vitamin B-12 are more likely to experience rapid bone loss. Vitamin B-12, which is found in animal products such as:

  • meat
  • shellfish
  • milk
  • cheese
  • eggs

is needed to produce red blood cells and maintain a healthy nervous system. Still, little is known about the vitamin's affects on skeletal health, specifically among aging women.This study demonstrated that after adjusting for age, weight and clinic site, women with the lowest levels of B-12 (below 280 pg/ml) experienced significantly more rapid hip bone loss than women with higher levels of B-12. Although the study found that levels below 280 were a problem, it is far more likely that levels below 800 present a problem. Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with a wide range of problems besides anemia and nerve problems. Depression is another major problem that can result from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism March 2004;89(3):1217-21

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