Functional Vitamin B12 Deficiency
FUNCTIONAL VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY: ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
Functional vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency is defined by higher than normal B12-dependent metabolites, including methylmalonic acid (MMA) and/or homocysteine (Hcy), while having normal or elevated serum B12. This type of deficiency is common among the elderly, individuals with MTHFR gene defect, and individuals with specific health conditions, including cancer and diabetes. Functional B12 deficiency leads to irreversible complications, including neuropathy. Diagnoses of functional B12 deficiency is not easy as the traditional biomarkers of B12 status, including serum B12 and MCV are usually normal or, in case of serum B12, may be elevated. In fact, individuals with this condition may have serum B12 that are higher, sometimes more than double, the upper cutoff considered normal.

This lecture will review studies that assess the prevalence of functional B12 deficiency among individuals from different at risk groups. It will also discuss what biomarkers are useful in making diagnosis of functional B12 deficiency and how to interpret these biomarkers. Lastly, the webinar will discuss available treatment options.
Upon successful completion of this one-hour course, the participant should be able to:
  • Summarize the prevalence of functional B12 deficiency in at risk groups of individuals.


  • Discuss what biomarkers of B12 status can be used to make diagnosis of functional B12 deficiency.


  • Review available treatment options of functional B12 deficiency.
Live Event Date: Nov 02, 2021
Expiration Date: May 31, 2024
Performance Indicators/Learning Objectives: 4.2.6, 6.8.3, 8.3.6
Target Audience: RDs, DTRs, Health Professionals
Number of Credits: 1.0
Level(s): 1, 2
Total Cost: $18 ($18.00 per credit)

About the Presenter: Roman Pawlak, Ph.D, RD
Roman Pawlak

Associate Professor of Nutrition at East Carolina University. Authored: 'Vitamin B12. Combating the epidemic of deficiency' (published in English and Polish), 'Vegan/vegetarian mother and her baby' (published in English, Polish and Czech), 'I am the LORD who heals you' (published in English, Russian and Japanese), 'Forever young. Secrets of delaying aging and living disease free' (published in English and Polish), 'Healthy diet without secrets' (published in English and Polish), 'In defense of vegetarianism' (published in English and Polish), 'Diabetes. How to prevent it? How to cure it? How to prevent diabetes complications' (published in Polish), 'Diet – facts and myths' (published in Polish). Published in the best American and international nutrition journals, including, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, European Journal of Nutrition, Nutrition Reviews, American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Lectured in five continents, including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

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