Diagnosing & Managing Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Research Paper Title

Vitamin B12 Deficiency.


Vitamin B12 is an essential cofactor that is integral to methylation processes important in reactions related to DNA and cell metabolism, thus a deficiency may lead to disruption of DNA and cell metabolism and thus have serious clinical consequences.

Intracellular conversion of vitamin B12 to two active coenzymes, adenosylcobalamin in mitochondria and methylcobalamin in the cytoplasm, is necessary for the homeostasis of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine, respectively.

Methylmalonic acid is converted into succinyl-CoA, of which vitamin B12 is a cofactor for the reaction. Homocysteine is biosynthesised from methionine then resynthesised into methionine or converted into amino acid cysteine.

Vitamin B12 (also referred to as cobalamin) deficiency is relatively common, with important and variable clinical consequences. This review presents a concise summary of the most up to date evidence on how to diagnose and manage vitamin B12 deficiency.


Hunt, A., Harrington, D. & Robinson, S. (2015) Vitamin B12 Deficiency. BMJ 2014;349:g5226 doi: 10.1136/bmj.g5226.


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