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|Food Name||Folate||Vit. B-12||Iron
|Butter, whipped, with salt||3||0.13||0.16
|Butter oil, anhydrous||0||0.01||0.00
|Cheese, cottage, creamed, large or small curd||12||0.43||0.07
|Cheese, cottage, creamed, with fruit||11||0.53||0.16
|Cheese, cottage, nonfat, uncreamed, dry, large or small curd||9||0.46||0.15
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- Iron contents are in milligrams.
- Folate and vitamin B-12 contents are in micrograms.
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Information below is from the National Institutes of Health
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells.
Iron is an important building block for red blood cells.
When your body does not have enough iron, it will make fewer red blood cells or
red blood cells that are too small. This is called iron deficiency anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia.
Red blood cells bring oxygen to the body's tissues. Healthy red blood cells are
made in your bone marrow. Red blood cells move through your body for 3 to 4 months.
Parts of your body then remove old blood cells.
Iron is a key part of red blood cells. Without iron, the blood cannot carry oxygen
effectively. Your body normally gets iron through your diet and by re-using iron
from old red blood cells.
You get iron deficiency anemia when your body's iron stores run low. You can get
iron deficiency if:
- You lose more blood cells and iron than your body can replace
- Your body does not do a good job of absorbing iron
- Your body is able to absorb iron, but you are not eating enough foods with iron
- Your body needs more iron than normal (such as if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)
Iron loss can be due to bleeding. Common causes of bleeding are:
- Heavy, long, or frequent menstrual periods
- Cancer in the esophagus, stomach, or colon
- Esophageal varices
- The use of aspirin, ibuprofen, or arthritis medicines for a long time, which can
cause gastrointestinal bleeding
- Peptic ulcer disease
The body may not absorb enough iron in the diet due to:
- Celiac disease
- Crohn's disease
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Taking too many antacids that contain calcium
You may not get enough iron in the diet if:
- You are a strict vegetarian
- You are an older adult and do not eat a full diet
Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Taking iron supplementsand eating iron-rich foods are important parts of treating
iron deficiency anemia. However, you and your health care provider must first search
for the cause of your anemia.
Iron supplements (most often ferrous sulfate) are needed to build up the iron stores
in your body. Most of the time, your doctor or nurse will measure your iron levels
before starting supplements.
Patients who cannot take iron by mouth can take it through a vein (intravenous)
or by an injection into the muscle.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women will need to take extra iron because their normal
diet usually will not provide the amount they need.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is a low red blood cell count due to a lack of vitamin
B12. Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood
cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.
Your body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells. In order to provide vitamin
B12 to your cells:
- You must eat plenty of foods that contain vitamin B12, such as meat, poultry, shellfish,
eggs, and dairy products.
- Your body must absorb enough vitamin B12. A special protein, called intrinsic factor,
helps your body do this. This protein is released by cells in the stomach.
A lack of vitamin B12 may be due to dietary factors, including:
- Eating a vegetarian diet
- Poor diet in infants
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy
Certain health conditions can make it difficult for your body to absorb enough vitamin
B12. They include:
- Chronic alcoholism
- Crohn's disease, celiac disease, infection with the fish tapeworm, or other problems
that make it difficult for your body to digest foods
- Pernicious anemia, a type of vitamin B12 anemia that occurs when your body destroys
cells that make intrinsic factor
- Surgeries that remove certain parts of your stomach or small intestine, such as
some weight-loss surgeries
- Taking antacids and other heartburn medicines for a long period of time
Treatment of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Anemia
The goal of treatment is to increase your vitamin B12 levels.
Treatment may include a shot of vitamin B12 once a month. Persons with severely
low levels of B12 may need more shots in the beginning. You may need shots every
month for the rest of your life.
Some patients may also need to take vitamin B12 supplements by mouth. For some people,
high-dose vitamin B12 tablets taken by mouth work well, and shots are not needed.
Long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage. This may be permanent if
you do not start treatment within 6 months of when your symptoms begin.
Folate Deficiency Anemia
Folate-deficiency anemia is a decrease in red blood cells (anemia) due to a lack
of folate. Folate is a type of B vitamin. It is also called folic acid.
Folate (folic acid) is needed for red blood cells to form and grow. You can get
folate by eating green leafy vegetables and liver. However, your body does not store
folate in large amounts. So, you need to eat plenty of folate-rich foods to maintain
normal levels of this vitamin.
In folate-deficiency anemia, the red blood cells are abnormally large. Such cells
are called megalocytes. They are also called megaloblasts. They are seen in the
bone marrow. This is why this anemia is also called megaloblastic anemia.
Causes of this type of anemia include:
- Too little folic acid in your diet
- Hemolytic anemia
- Long-term alcoholism
- Use of certain medications (such as phenytoin [Dilantin], methotrexate, sulfasalazine,
triamterene, pyrimethamine, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and barbiturates)
The following raise your risk for this type of anemia:
- Eating overcooked food
- Poor diet (often seen in the poor, the elderly, and people who do not eat fresh
fruits or vegetables)
Folic acid is needed to help a baby in the womb grow properly. Too little folic
acid during pregnancy may lead to birth defects in a baby.
Treatment of Folate-Deficiency Anemia
The goal is to identify and treat the cause of the folate deficiency.
You may receive folic acid supplements, taken by mouth or given through a vein.
If you have low folate levels because of a problem with your intestines, you make
need treatment for the rest of your life.
Diet changes can help boost your folate level. Eat more green, leafy vegetables
and citrus fruits.
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