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What is the best vitamin for anemia patients ? Which USANA Products contain B-12, Folate or folic acid, and Vitamin C ?

Iron is a mineral. Most of the iron in the body is found in the hemoglobin of red blood cells and in the myoglobin of muscle cells. Iron is needed for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide. It also has other important roles in the body. Iron can be found in foods like meat, fish, tofu, beans, spinach, cereal and other foods.

Iron is most commonly used for preventing and treating anemia caused by low iron levels. It is also used for anemia caused by abnormal heavy bleeding during menstrual periods (menorrhagia), pregnancy, or kidney problems.

Vitamin deficiency anemia is a lack of healthy red blood cells caused when you have lower than normal amounts of certain vitamins. Vitamins linked to vitamin deficiency anemia include folate, vitamin B-12 and vitamin C.

Vitamin deficiency anemia can occur if you don’t eat enough foods containing folate, vitamin B-12 or vitamin C, or it can occur if your body has trouble absorbing or processing these vitamins.

It’s important to have your doctor diagnose and treat your anemia. Vitamin deficiency anemia can usually be corrected with vitamin supplements and changes to your diet.

Vitamin Deficiency Anemia Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of vitamin deficiency anemia include:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Personality changes
  • Unsteady movements
  • Mental confusion or forgetfulness

Vitamin deficiency usually develops slowly over several months to years. Vitamin deficiency signs and symptoms may be subtle at first, but they increase as the deficiency worsens.

Vitamin Deficiency Anemia Causes

Vitamin deficiency anemia develops when your body has a shortage of the vitamins needed to produce enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs throughout your body.

If your diet is lacking in certain vitamins, vitamin deficiency anemia can develop. Or vitamin deficiency anemia may develop because your body can’t properly absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.

Causes of vitamin deficiency anemias include:

Folate deficiency anemia

Folate, also known as vitamin B-9, is a nutrient found mainly in fruits and leafy green vegetables. A diet consistently lacking in these foods can lead to a deficiency.

Deficiency can also result if your body is unable to absorb folate from food. Most nutrients from food are absorbed in your small intestine. You might have difficulty absorbing folate or folic acid, the synthetic form of folate that’s added to foods and supplements, if:

  • You have a disease of the small intestine, such as celiac disease
  • You’ve had a large part of the small intestine surgically removed or bypassed
  • You drink excessive amounts of alcohol
  • You take certain prescription drugs, such as some anti-seizure medications

Pregnant women and women who are breast-feeding have an increased demand for folate, as do people undergoing dialysis for kidney disease. Failure to meet this increased demand can result in a deficiency.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia

Vitamin B-12 deficiency can result from a diet lacking in vitamin B-12, which is found mainly in meat, eggs and milk.

However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia.

Intrinsic factor is a protein secreted by the stomach that joins vitamin B-12 in the stomach and moves it through the small intestine to be absorbed by your bloodstream. Without intrinsic factor, vitamin B-12 can’t be absorbed and leaves your body as waste.

People with endocrine-related autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid disease, may have an increased risk of developing pernicious anemia.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia can also occur if your small intestine can’t absorb vitamin B-12 for reasons other than a lack of intrinsic factor. This may happen if:

  • You’ve had surgery to your stomach or small intestine, such as gastric bypass surgery
  • You have abnormal bacterial growth in your small intestine
  • You have an intestinal disease, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, that interferes with absorption of the vitamin
  • You’ve ingested a tapeworm from eating contaminated fish. The tapeworm saps nutrients from your body.

Vitamin C deficiency anemia

Vitamin C deficiency can develop if you don’t get enough vitamin C from the foods you eat. Vitamin C deficiency is also possible if something impairs your ability to absorb vitamin C from food. For instance, smoking impairs your body’s ability to absorb vitamin C.

Certain chronic illnesses, such as cancer or chronic kidney disease, also increase your risk of vitamin C deficiency anemia by affecting the absorption of vitamin C.

Risk factors

A number of factors can affect your body’s vitamin stores. In general, your risk of vitamin deficiency is increased if:

  • Your diet contains little to no natural vitamin food sources, such as meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables. Vegetarians who don’t eat dairy products and vegans, who don’t eat any foods from animals, may fall into this category.Consistently overcooking your food also can cause vitamin deficiency.
  • You’re pregnant, and you aren’t taking a multivitamin. Folic acid supplements are especially important during pregnancy.
  • You have intestinal problems or other medical conditions that interfere with absorption of vitamins. Abnormal bacterial growth in your stomach or surgery to your intestines or stomach can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B-12.
  • You abuse alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of folate and vitamin C, as well as other vitamins.
  • You take certain prescription medications that can block absorption of vitamins. Anti-seizure drugs can block the absorption of folate. Antacids and some drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes may interfere with B-12 absorption.

What Foods or Supplements are good for Vitamin Deficiency Anemia ?

You can prevent some forms of vitamin deficiency anemias by choosing a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods.

Foods rich in folate include:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice
  • Fruits and fruit juices

Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include:

  • Eggs
  • Fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals
  • Milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Meat and shellfish

Foods rich in vitamin C include:

  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Strawberries
  • Green peppers
  • Tomatoes

Most adults need these daily dietary amounts of the following vitamins:

  • Vitamin B-12 — 2.4 micrograms (mcg)
  • Folate or folic acid — 400 mcg
  • Vitamin C — 75 to 90 milligrams

Pregnant and breast-feeding women may require more of each vitamin.

SANA CellSentials™ contain engough Vitamin B-12, Folate or folic acid, and Vitamin C .

USANA CellSentials supplement facts

Why do people take iron?

Iron supplements are most often used for certain types of anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue and other symptoms. If you have symptoms of anemia, seek care from your health care provider. Don’t try to treat it on your own.

Iron supplements are often prescribed to treat anemia caused by:

  • Pregnancy
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Kidney disease
  • Chemotherapy

Those who may be at risk for iron deficiency include preterm infants, young children, teenage girls, and pregnant women, as well as people with certain health conditions including chronic heart failure, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis. Iron supplements are commonly recommended for women who are pregnant or of childbearing age to help prevent anemia. Before taking an iron supplement, ask your health care provider if it is right for you.

How much iron should you take?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) includes the iron you get from both the food you eat and any supplements you take.


Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)


7-12 months

11 mg/day

1-3 years

7 mg/day

4-8 years

10 mg/day

9-13 years

8 mg/day


14-18 years

15 mg/day

19-50 years

18 mg/day

51 years and over

8 mg/day


27 mg/day


Under 19 years: 10 mg/day

19 years and over: 9 mg/day


14-18 years

11 mg/day

19 years and up

8 mg/day

Strict vegetarians may need to take in higher levels of iron.

At high doses, iron is toxic. For adults and children ages 14 and up, the upper limit — the highest dose that can be taken safely — is 45 mg a day. Children under age 14 should not take more than 40 mg a day.

Treating Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Although most individuals typically obtain a sufficient amount of iron by eating a well-balanced diet, iron supplementation may be warranted to build up iron stores in individuals with iron-deficiency anemia.

Iron-deficiency anemia is considered to be the most prevalent form of anemia in the United States, but the good news is that it can be effectively treated.1-4 An estimated 4% of premenopausal women are considered to be iron deficient.5 In addition, certain patient populations—such as children younger than 2 years, adolescent girls and premenopausal women (due to menstruation), women during and after pregnancy, and patients of advanced age—are at greater risk of developing iron deficiency.2-4

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although multiple factors may contribute to iron deficiency, the causes can be grouped into 2 main categories: increased iron needs, and decreased iron intake or absorption . The most common causes of iron deficiency include blood loss due to hemorrhagic loss and menstruation as well as poor diet and/or an inability of the body to absorb an adequate amount of iron from dietary means.

Strict vegetarians may also be at risk of iron deficiency, but deficiency can be avoided if the diet contains iron-fortified foods such as grains, beans, and dark leafy vegetables.


Individuals who have had gastric bypass surgery or who have Crohn’s disease or celiac disease may be unable to absorb enough iron.2,4,7 In addition, long-term use of pharmacologic agents such as salicylates, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, and corticosteroids may result in drug-induced blood loss due to direct irritation of the gastric mucosa or the tendency of these agents to increase bleeding, thus possibly increasing the risk of iron deficiency.2-4 Females with heavy or prolonged menstrual cycles are at greater risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia and often require iron supplementation.3 Iron supplementation may also be needed during recovery from medical conditions such as peptic ulcer disease, cancer, esophageal varices, and injuries associated with significant blood loss (eg, wounds sustained in an automobile accident), as well as in individuals who have had recent surgery.

Signs and Symptoms of Iron-Deficiency Anemia

The early signs and symptoms of iron deficiency are often vague and may go unnoticed initially. As the body becomes more iron deficient, the symptoms of iron deficiency become more apparent (Table 21-8). Some patients may present with pica—abnormal cravings to eat substances such as ice or dirt.

Patients exhibiting signs of iron-deficiency anemia should be encouraged to seek medical evaluation by their primary health care provider to prevent further complications. In addition, patients exhibiting signs of anemia who are not pregnant, breast-feeding, or menstruating, or are not on a meat-restricted diet should always seek medical evaluation because anemia may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition.

For more information about Anemia, please check :

Which USANA products contain Iron ?

Which foods have rich iron and how to absorb more iron from foods ?

What should teenagers do to keep fast growth and healthy ?


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1 Comment

  1. Salvatore A. Arria

    What kind of test is required to ascertain which type of anemia a person has? Also what specialty must a doctor have to handle a case of Anemia? Thank you

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