Can alcohol lead to B12 deficiency? Here's what you need to know


An overconsumption of alcohol is harmful and puts the body out of balance. It is relatively common to suffer from a lack of B12 when drinking a lot of alcohol. Here you will find out what it is due to.

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin. The body cannot produce B12 and therefore it is important to eat nutritious food so that the body can instead absorb vitamin B12 via the diet.

B12 plays an important role for the body, it is crucial for the formation of red blood cells, energy production, metabolism and for maintaining a healthy nervous system.

Why do you suffer from B12 deficiency when you drink a lot of alcohol?

Alcohol can interfere with the normal absorption of B12 in the gut

The body's ability to absorb B12 from food can be reduced because alcohol can damage the lining of the stomach and intestines.

Alcohol can cause liver damage and inflammation

The storage of B12 takes place through the liver, as alcohol can cause liver damage and inflammation reduces the ability to store and release B12 when needed.

Imbalanced diet

Some with excessive consumption of alcohol have an unbalanced diet and do not eat enough foods rich in B12 which can lead to B12 deficiency.

How you can find out if you have an alcohol-related B12 deficiency

B12 deficiency can also occur due to factors other than alcohol. However, if you feel that you have a high alcohol consumption and have symptoms of B12 deficiency, it may be good to do a Vitamin B12 test to get answers to your values. Do you not know if you have a so-called high alcohol consumption? This too can be measured through different types of blood tests such as PEth and CDT.

How you can reduce the risk of suffering from B12 deficiency

By reducing alcohol consumption or stopping drinking alcohol, the risk of B12 deficiency can be reduced. It is important to stay within the guidelines for low consumption of alcohol to reduce negative effects on B12 absorption and liver function.

A healthy and balanced diet containing B12-rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy products and eggs is important to reduce the risk of B12 deficiency. For vegetarians and vegans, it may be necessary to take supplements or eat fortified foods.

If you have difficulty reducing your alcohol consumption or if you want to stop drinking completely, we recommend that you seek help, can be a first step.

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  • Measures your alcohol consumption over time.
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