Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common than most people are aware of, especially in the older adult population. If left untreated, this deficiency may lead to serious complications including anemia, dementia, and other neurologic damage. In this study, researchers studied the effects of proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 receptor antagonists, two of the most commonly used types of medication used in the United States, and how they are associated with this type of vitamin deficiency.
The study evaluated almost 26,000 patients who were currently diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency and compared the evaluation of about 184,000 patients who were not vitamin B12 deficient. Through this study, researchers discovered that both a two-year use of proton pump inhibitors and a two-year use of histamine 2 receptor antagonists lead to a correlation with vitamin B12 deficiency.
This study was important because I feel that vitamin B12 is not as commonly discussed as other vitamins such as vitamin D or vitamin C. It is important to recognize that other vitamins are just as essential to the human body as those. An understanding of potentially dangerous risks associated with proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 receptor antagonists will allow for prevention of the neurologic damage associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Lam JR, Schneider JL, Zhao W, et al. Proton pump inhibitor and histamine 2 receptor antagonist use and vitamin B12 deficiency. JAMA. 2013;310:2435-42.