Blood Health, Anemia & Other Blood Disorders

Blood Health: Anemia is a common blood condition that affects 1.62 billion people worldwide.


Introduction

The prevalence of anemia is specially high (73.5%) among women, specifically in the non-pregnant, making them the population with the higher risk.


This health condition is caused by the lack of healthy red blood cells or lack of hemoglobin that delivers oxygen to all the body. There are many types of anemia developed by different reasons. However, the most common types are related with insufficient intake of several nutrients necessary for normal blood formation. This types of anemia can be treated with nutrient supplementation, and includes Iron-deficiency anemia, Pernicious anemia and Megaloblastic anemia. As anemia can be a sign of other diseases, the diagnosis should be made by a doctor to treat other possible causes not related with the diet.


Iron-deficiency anemia

The lack of iron in the body leads to insufficient production of hemoglobin with a reduced oxygen deliver to the body causing fatigue, paleness, weakness, irritability among other symptoms. This type of anemia regarding nutritional problems takes place when the intake of iron from the diet is poor. This is frequent in children, adolescents, pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans. Iron is found in foods like meats, eggs and green vegetables. However getting sufficient iron from the diet can be difficult sometimes, especially if the main iron source are vegetables that contains non-hem iron, which absorption can be impaired by other foods, beverages, and certain medications. Iron-deficiency anemia is treated with a diet rich in iron and with mineral supplementations

Vitamin B6 deficiency

Vitamin B6 is rare in the developed world population, yet anemia can be a symptom of this deficiency. It can be detected in persons with the diagnosis of anemia that may not respond to iron supplementation to revert the lack of red blood cells. It can be also more frequent among pregnant women. Population at risk of Vitamin B6 deficiency include:

• People with kidney disease, including people who are dialysis and patients who have had a kidney transplant.

• People with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease may sometimes have low vitamin B6 levels.

• People with chronic alcoholism.

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Megaloblastic anemia (Vitamin B12 and Folate deficiency)

B vitamins help in the formation of red blood cells, as a consequence inadequate intake of these vitamins can lead to anemia. Megaloblastic anemia is developed when the blood cells are larger than normal but immature and few in number causing a reduction in the amount of oxygen carried to the tissues. Megaloblastic anemia can be caused by either folic acid or vitamin B12 deficiency or by the lack of both vitamins. Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in higher amounts in animal sources foods like meats and fish, it is also added to some foods as breakfast cereals and breads. However, it might be difficult to satisfy the overall consumption of B12 only by non-animal sources.

Getting sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 also depends on other factors as the vitamin in order to be absorbed by the body depends in the availability of intrinsic factor (a substance find inside the stomach) and in a healthy gastrointestinal absorption.

Some medication as, certain antibiotics, treatment for peptic ulcer disease and acid reflux, and metformin for diabetes control may also interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.

Some groups of people that may be at risk of poor vitamin B12 status:

• Older adults that produce lower amounts of hydrochloric acid by their stomach may have impaired absorption of Vitamin B12. People over 50 should think vitamin B 12 supplementation as an option to reach their dietary requirements.

• People whose bodies do not make the intrinsic factor need to correct Vitamin B12 deficiency.

• People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, or who have digestive disorders, that interfere with the absorption and /or have a reduced area of gastrointestinal tissue to absorb nutrients, such as Celiac disease or Crohn's disease.

• People who do not include, or eat reduced amounts of animal products, such as vegetarians and vegans.

• Pregnant or breastfeeding woman with vegan or vegetarian diets may have babies with impaired vitamin B12 levels that can affect their mental development.

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The Vegetarian diet dilemma

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is also present is a small amount of non-vegetarians but the greater risk is present in the people who exclude animal foods from their diets. According to several researches, a vegan diet can easily lead to Vitamin B-12 deficiency and even more flexible vegetarian diets that include dairy and eggs, can also put in risk of this deficiency to their followers.

Even asymptomatic vegetarians have lower B-12 blood levels than non-vegetarians. Putting this group at greater risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency than non-vegetarians. "Nevertheless, the data are compelling, and they indicate that vegetarians should routinely take Cobalamin or vitamin B-12 supplements,"… "…the lack of a comprehensive initiative to protect vegetarians from vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to a whole generation of cobalamin-deficient children (and adults) who are incapable of making good decisions because of the additional burden of neurologic deficits induced by cobalamin deficiency." Antony explains in his article related to vegetarianism.

Vitamin B12 has very low potential for toxicity. And has a way to fight the high existence of absorption problems in the general population, and to treat even the mild sign-free deficiencies that can have bad cognitive outcomes. High doses are recommended to address possible B 12 gaps. Doses of 1 gram of Vitamin B12 are a safe and practical way to complete your diet.

This health condition is caused by the lack of healthy red blood cells or lack of hemoglobin that delivers oxygen to all the body. There are many types of anemia developed by different reasons. However, the most common types are related with insufficient intake of several nutrients necessary for normal blood formation. This types of anemia can be treated with nutrient supplementation, and includes Iron-deficiency anemia, Pernicious anemia and Megaloblastic anemia. As anemia can be a sign of other diseases, the diagnosis should be made by a doctor to treat other possible causes not related with the diet.


Conclusions

Insufficient Iron intakes can cause irregular heart beat that can lead to heart failure with time. Vitamin B12, Folates, and Vitamin B6 deficiencies can also alter the health of the heart by increased levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that may be reduced by adequate intake of this compounds.

To maintain the health of the blood cells, many nutrients are fundamental including vitamin B12, iron and folates.

Large doses of folic acid can hide a vitamin B12 insufficiency by correcting megaloblastic anemia. But folic acid cannot correct the consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency. For this reason, healthy adults should not get more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid a day.

Because the absorption of Vitamin B depends on a healthy gastrointestinal tract and in the absence of certain medication that may interfere this process, many populations are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency that may lead to anemia, cardiac problems and cognitive impairment.

Assuring a healthy Vitamin B12 intake is important, however, supplementation is useful to treat and prevent megaloblastic anemia and other health problems.

Biogenique's Offer

Biogenique offers many products to revert anemia and promote blood health, from B-50 Complex, VitaComplete and VitaComplete Chewable to address prevention, to specific treatments for specific situations like Biogenique' B6, Biogenique' Vitamin B12 sublingual that gives strong doses of Vitamin B12 avoiding the gastrointestinal track, reducing the loss or lack of absorption.

References

1. Savaria-Morris M, Jacques PF, Rosenberg IH, Selhub J. Folate and vitamin B-12 status in relation to anemia, macrocytosis, and cognitive impairment in older Americans in the age of folic acid fortification. Am j Clin Nutr. 2007 vol. 85 no. 1 193-200

2. Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993-2005 : WHO global database on anaemia / Edited by Bruno de Benoist, Erin McLean, ines Egli and Mary Cogswell.

3. WebMD. Understanding Anemia-The basics: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics?page=2

4. Antony C A, Vegetarianism and vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) deficiency. Am j Clin Nutr. 2003 vol. 78 (1)3-6

5. WebMD. Vegetarian diet and B12 defiency at: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20030618/vegetarian-diet-b12-deficiency

6. Mayo Clinic staff. Mayo Clinic. Iron Deficiency anemia: "http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/iron-deficiency

7. Hisano M, Suzuki R, Sago H, Murashima A, Yamaguchi K. Vitamin B6 deficienct and anemia in pregnancy. Eur j clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;64(2):221-3. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2009.125.Epub 2009.

8. Carmel R. Mean corpuscular volume and other concerns in the study of vitamin B-12 deficiency: epidemiology with pathophysiology. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 vol. 87 no. 6 1962-1963

9. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-QuickFacts/

10. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-QuickFacts/

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