Mental Health

Vitamin D deficiency rickets and vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarian children.

During the years 1978-83 four vegetarian children have been admitted to the pediatric departments of Ullevaal and Aker Hospitals in Oslo and Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, with the diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency rickets. One had vitamin B12 deficiency as well. All had been fed a vegetarian diet with some cows' milk, but without vitamin supplementation. All had marked hypocalcemia, and three had tetany or convulsions. All responded well to conventional doses of vitamin D therapy. Two of the mothers had vitamin D deficiency, and one of them also had vitamin B12 deficiency.

Megaloblastic anaemia in a vegetarian Hindu community.

138 Indian patients with megaloblastic haemopoiesis were studied. All were lifelong vegetarians. The diagnosis was nutritional cobalamin deficiency in 95 and pernicious anaemia in 20; only 4 patients had folate deficiency. A third had intestinal malabsorption, 20 had features of osteomalacia, and 87 were iron deficient. Tuberculosis was diagnosed in 17. Cobalamin deficiency may have contributed to these complications via intestinal malabsorption and impaired bacterial killing of phagocytosed bacilli by cobalamin-deficient macrophages.

Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan-diet mother

A 7-month-old male presented with lethargy and failure to thrive. The child was exclusively breast-fed from birth by a mother who was a strict vegetarian. Laboratory data revealed macrocytic anemia and methylmalonic acid in the urine, consistent with vitamin B12 deficient anemia. The patient responded well to supplementation with B12 alone and was developmentally normal by 11 months of age. This study emphasizes the need for assuring maternal dietary adequacy during pregnancy and after birth.

Megaloblastic anaemia in one of monozygous twins breast fed by their vegetarian mother.

Megaloblastic anaemia in infancy is uncommon in western countries. We describe a case of an exclusively breast-fed monozygous twin with severe vitamin B12 deficiency with haematologic and neurologic abnormalities. Treatment with vitamin B12 resulted in a rapid haematological and clinical improvement.

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.

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