Deficiency of vitamin B12 in babies or vegetarian children
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants and children
SYMPTOMS THAT B12 DEFICIENCY PRODUCES IN BABIES AND CHILDREN
Causes of lack of B12 in infants and children
The main causes that can cause deficiency of B12 or low levels of this vitamin in infants and children are the following:
- Breastfeeding of a mother with a vegetarian diet: Vegetarian mothers who do NOT take supplements contain very little vitamin B12 in their breast milk.
The most appropriate solution for it not to occur is for the mother to take B12 supplements. Formula milk types have already added this vitamin.
- Babies and children do not have B12 reserve: Vegetarian adults keep a small store of vitamin B12 in the liver that babies and children do not have. A baby who has never eaten breast milk with enough vitamin B12 has no reservoir of vitamin B12 in the liver.
For this reason the symptoms of B12 deficiency appear earlier in babies when the mother seems healthy.
- Insufficient bacterial synthesis: The intestinal microbiota of the baby does not have the capacity to produce enough B12 to cover the food and reservoir deficits.
All three factors, mainly breastfeeding without vitamin B12, can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency in infants and children.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency in newborn babies
The symptoms of B12 deficiency in lactating mothers of vegetarian mothers are characterized by a seemingly normal development up to 2-6 months, when, subsequently, appear:
- Developmental delay
- Pale face, hematoma (ecchymosis) in legs and buttocks, increased pigmentation in the dorsum of the hands and feet, especially in the knuckles
- Problems of the nervous system: neurological affections, loss of ability to control the head, loss of tendon reflexes, irritability, lethargy, hypotonia, sagging, the baby does not respond to painful stimuli.
- Megaloblastic anemia (normochromic macrocytic), thrombocytopenia
- Urine test: methylmalonic acid, glycine, methylcyclic acid, homocysteine
- Abnormal encephalogram, neuropathy
Treatment of lack of vitamin B12 in infants
These deficiencies should be treated by a physician. In documented cases, this deficiency was cured by administering doses of 1,000mcg of vitamin B12, however, such high doses are not necessary in healthy infants.
Recommended amount of vitamin B12 for infants and children
A baby should take B12 supplements if the mother is not supplemented.
Vitamin B12 Recommended Daily Intake (IDR) for Infants and Children:
- Infants and children 0 to 2 years old: 0.3 mcg / day
- Children 2 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg / day
- Children 3 to 6 years: 1.2 mcg / day
- Children 7 to 10 years: 1.2 to 1.8 mcg / day
- Children 11 to 18 years old: 1.8 to 2.4 mcg / day
* View: Vitamin B12 rich food
B12 supplements for vegetarian Kids
Supplements can be purchased in capsules or drops of 2.5 - 10 or 100 mcg of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). They are given 1 to 3 times a day depending on the dose.
DO NOT administer very high doses as supplements of 1,000 mcg daily unless advised by the doctor.
It is highly advisable to go to a dietitian expert in vegetarianism to control the diet and to seed if there are other possible deficits associated with the vegetarian diet.
Why does a mother has no B12 deficiency?
Vegetarians can take a few years to notice this deficiency because the body takes the amount it needs from liver stores.
Therefore, a vegetarian mother may not present symptoms of lack of B12 because this vitamin is very conserved in the organism, that is to say, the liver has a small store, and, in addition, it can be reabsorbed via intestinal.
A vegetarian woman has reserves of B12 that she has accumulated from her life. However, when subjected to a complete and specific analytical, certain deficiency values of this vitamin usually appear.
More information on vitamin b12 in the listing above
Other interesting articles
This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.