Vitamin B12 deficiency in city men more to Rural

Nutrition deficiency is not only found in rural but also in the urban regions also. The district’s seemingly healthy urban population has been found to be deficient of vitamins like B12. Diabetologist C S Yajnik told that deficiency of essential micro nutrients like B12 is quiet common among South Asians , but the exact prevalence is not known. He told that further studies are needed to confirm these findings in other parts of the country

The researchers studied 441 middle- aged men & the spouses of few, from urban , rural & slums areas over a period of seven years for their lifestyle , socio-economic status , nutrition & medical history were collected & the circulating concentration of B12 , Folic , Protein , Amino Acid & cardio-vascular risk variable were measured.

They revealed that 81% of urban middle class men are vitamin B12 deficient. While the deficiency is 68% in rural men and 51% in slums. With this they become able to trace a paradigm shift in measures of deficiency from rural to urban. S S Naik, senior biochemist and head of the bio-chemistry department at KEM Hospital, said, “ Results showed that these women, like their husbands, too, were deficient in micro nutrients as their dietary pattern was same like that of their partners,"

He also said , "Excessive intake of drugs, like antibiotics, may be responsible for destroying the organism present in the intestines essential for synthesising vitamin B12. Also the urban middle class is more prone to irrational and excessive use of antibiotics than village folk." Similarly, the cultural trait of eating strictly vegetarian food results in deficiency. Even those who eat meat, consume it occasionally and the quantity is insufficient.

Ashish Babhulkar, who is also doing an extensive study on deficiency of vitamin B12 in the urban middle class population, said, "Rural folk absorb a much higher level of vitamin D as they stay exposed to the sunlight for longer hours. It is instrumental in maintaining optimum levels of vitamin B12. Besides, it is an established fact that low level of vitamin D coexists with calcium and vitamin B12 deficiency."

The study shows that presence of homo cysteine (amino acid) in the blood stream of urban middle class people is much higher than their counterparts in the villages. Similarly, many urban middle class people suffer from stress-related acidity and tend to consume antacids and other acid inhibitor drugs regularly.


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