January 2007, Volume 37 Number 1 , p 67 - 69
PACHOLOK, SALLY RN, BSN
Sally Pacholok is an emergency department nurse at Mt. St. Clemens (Mich.) Regional Medical Center and the coauthor of a book about vitamin B 12 deficiency.
AN ESTIMATED 15% to 25% of older adults have a vitamin B 12 deficiency, but many of them are never tested or diagnosed. This deficiency can cause suffering and serious injury—even death. Yet many health care professionals mistakenly attribute signs and symptoms of a vitamin B 12 deficiency to aging.
Fortunately, this deficiency can be identified and treated easily with proper screening. In this article, I'll outline who's at risk and how to test and intervene. But first, let's examine the role of vitamin B 12 in the body.
Why this B is key
Playing an active role in methylation, vitamin B 12 serves as a coenzyme for many processes, such as DNA synthesis, fatty acid metabolism, and transmethylation of amino acids. It's essential ...