B12 and Folic Acid

T. S. Dharmarajan, Srinivas Guptha Gunturu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in older adults and predisposed to by several factors including inadequate diet, food-cobalamin malabsorption, a host of gastric and small intestinal disorders, and medications. The presentations of B12 deficiency range from the asymptomatic to hematological, neuropsychiatric, and other manifestations. Screening may be directed to those at risk and with suggestive clinical features. Diagnosis of B12 deficiency is easy and treatment is inexpensive. While hematological manifestations are reversible, neurological complications have a short window of opportunity for correction, emphasizing the importance of early diagnosis. Folate deficiency is also common in older adults and predisposed by dietary preferences or restrictions. Folate deficiency causes reversible hematological features similar to B12 deficiency, without the neurological manifestations. Folate deficiency has been linked to cognitive impairment and depression. Monitoring folate levels following supplementation is the preferred approach, rather than checking homocysteine levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeriatric Gastroenterology
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781441916235
ISBN (Print)9781441916228
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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