Deficiency of vitamin B12 in babies or vegetarian children

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants 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:

Vegetarian mother

Vegetarian mother. Mothers should have good levels of vitamin B12 to give to the baby through their milk

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.

Vegetarian children

Vegetarian children should take B12 supplement if they do not eat enough dairy or eggs.

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.

* Related information:

Symptoms of vitamin B12 Deficiency

Diagnostic of vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 supplements

Vitamin B12 supplements for vegetarians

Vitamin B12 analogues

How to take vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 during pregnancy

Does the body store vitamin b12?

punto rojo More information on vitamin b12.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

26 April, 2019

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