What I Didn’t Know About Vitamin B12 and Crohn’s Disease

This month I learned from a recent publication (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 1120-23) that Crohn’s disease without ileal resection does not seem to increase the risk of Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency.  To reach this conclusion, the authors did an extensive literature search and identified 42 relevant articles with 3732 IBD patients.

Key findings:

  • Ileal resections >30 cm were associated with B12 deficiency.
  • Resections <20 cm were not associated with B12 deficiency; whereas the findings were inconsistent when resections were 20-30 cm.

Take home message:  Crohn’s disease, regardless of disease location, did not increase the risk of B12 deficiency in the absence of ileal resections >20 cm.

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