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Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia

Key points

  • You need vitamin B12 for many important processes, such as making red blood cells and keeping your nerves healthy.
  • Good sources of vitamin B12 include meat and other animal products, such as eggs and cheese, and fortified cereals.
  • Depending on what’s causing your deficiency, you may need to have vitamin B12 injections.

Further information


  • Anemia. Medscape., published 4 November 2011
  • Anaemia – B12 and folate deficiency. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries., published February 2013
  • Pernicious anemia. Medscape., published 27 February 2013
  • Anaemia – suspected. Map of Medicine., published 21 January 2013
  • Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency. Map of Medicine., published 28 March 2012
  • Vitamin B12. Food Standards Agency., accessed 23 July 2013
  • Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online) London: BMJ group and Pharmaceutical Press., accessed 23 July 2013
  • Neural tube defects. Medscape., published 22 March 2011
  • Landgren AM, Landgren O, Gridley G, et al. Autoimmune disease and subsequent risk of developing alimentary tract cancers among 4.5 million US male veterans. Cancer 2011; 117:1163–71. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25524
  • Ye W, Nyrén O. Risk of cancers of the oesophagus and stomach by histology or subsite in patients hospitalised for pernicious anaemia. Gut 2003; 52(7):938–41
  • Mellemkjaer L, Gridley G, Møller H, et al. Pernicious anaemia and cancer risk in Denmark. Br J Cancer 1996; 73(8):998–1000
  • Stomach cancer risk factors. Cancer Research UK., published 29 November 2012


For our main content on this topic, see Information.

For answers to frequently asked questions on this topic, see FAQs.

  • This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the about our health information page.

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