Multiple Sclerosis

Vitamin B12 deficiency due to a strictly vegetarian diet in adolescence.

A 14-year-old white girl suffered from severe neurologic disturbances caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, due to failure to provide vitamin B12 supplementation to a strictly vegetarian diet. The disturbances resolved completely following treatment with vitamin B12. Physicians should be alert to the necessity for vitamin B12 supplementation for strict vegetarians, who eat no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products.

Vegetarian diet and cobalamin deficiency: their association with tuberculosis.

To determine whether the high incidence of tuberculosis among Asiatic Indians in the United Kingdom was due to impaired killing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by macrophages from patients deficient in cobalamin, a nutritional survey was carried out among 1187 Indians and the incidence of tuberculosis determined from medical records. The question asked was whether tuberculosis was significantly more common among life-long vegetarians compared with omnivores. The incidence of tuberculosis in vegetarians was 133 in 1000 and that in subjects on mixed diets 48 in 1000.

Vitamin B-12: low milk concentrations are related to low serum concentrations in vegetarian women and to methylmalonic aciduria in their infants.

n a group of 13 strict vegetarian and 6 omnivorous lactating women, relationships were studied among maternal milk and serum vitamin B-12, and milk vitamin B-12 and infant urinary methylmalonic acid (MMA) excretion. Milk vitamin B-12 concentrations were lower in women consuming a strict vegetarian diet compared with an omnivorous diet. Milk vitamin B-12 was inversely related to length of time on a vegetarian diet and positively correlated with maternal serum vitamin B-12 concentrations.

Maternal vegan diet causing a serious infantile neurological disorder due to vitamin B12 deficiency.

We present a 9-month-old exclusively breast-fed baby of a strict vegetarian mother who had excluded all animal proteins from her diet. The patient's symptoms included dystrophy, weakness, muscular atrophy, loss of tendon reflexes, psychomotor regression and haematological abnormalities. Biochemical investigations revealed severe methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria in the patient, slight methylmalonic aciduria in the mother and low concentrations of serum vitamin B12 in both patient and mother

[Vitamin B 12 deficiency in strict vegetarian diet. Why do some people choose such a diet, and what will they do in case of vitamin B 12 deficiency].

Nine persons in the county of Troms, Norway, were interviewed on their strict vegetarian diet. Improved health was indicated as the main reason for their choice of diet, but religion was a contributing reason for some. Most of the study persons would increase the intake of vitamin B12 if a deficiency state were to occur. One person reported, however, that she would not regard vitamin B12 deficiency as a health problem. The interviews disclosed beliefs regarding human physiology that are very far removed from standard scientific knowledge.

The influence of fast and vegetarian diet on parameters of nutritional status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutritional status was studied over a period of 13 months in 34 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Seventeen patients fasted for 7-10 days, were then transferred to a gluten-free vegan diet for 3.5 months and finally to a lactovegetarian diet for 9 months. The remaining 17 patients followed a "normal" diet. After one month, the values for body mass index (BMI) and triceps skinfold thickness (TSF) were significantly reduced in the diet group compared with the values at inclusion (p < 0.001), whereas upper arm muscle area (UAMA) was not significantly reduced.

Vegetarian diets and children.

The diets and growth of children reared on vegetarian diets are reviewed. Excessive bulk combined with low energy density can be a problem for children aged < or = 5 y and can lead to imparied growth. Diets that have a high content of phytate and other modifiers of mineral absorption are associated with an increased prevalence of rickets and iron-deficiency anemia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a real hazard in unsupplemented or unfortified vegan and vegetarian diets.


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