Helicobacter Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Doctors have known for more than 30 years that Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach and upper intestinal ulcers, causes stomach cancer. An article in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that it also may be the most common cause of pernicious anemia or lack of vitamin B12 (1).

One in ten people over 70 suffers from a lack of vitamin B12 that causes nerve damage such as loss of feeling on the fingers or toes, pain, depression and even muscle weakness. The stomach produces a chemical called intrinsic factor that helps absorb Vitamin B12 from food. Infections with helicobacter damage the stomach to prevent the production of intrinsic factor and blocking vitamin B12 absorption. If you have belching or burning in your stomach, check with your doctor for a helicobacter infection that can be cured by taking antibiotics for one week. If you suffer loss of feeling, tingling, depression, get a blood test for vitamin B12. If it is low, get a blood test for helicobacter.

More on Helicobacter

1)Archives of Internal Medicine May 8, 2000 page 1349

Checked 3/3/13

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