Abstract
VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND NOVEL DRUG DELIVERY STRATEGIES

Bhagyesh Milan Pendse* and Dr. Sujata Prahlad Sawarkar

ABSTRACT

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is a vital micronutrient. Although, it is required in miniscule levels in the body, it performs many vital functions. It is found exclusively in animal sources with a very few plant sources available. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 is a very common cause for megaloblastic anaemia particularly affecting the elderly population and people on vegetarian diet. With very limited plant sources available, fortification of common food with Vitamin B12 supplements in form of Cyanocobalamin becomes the obvious choice for maintaining appropriate levels in vegetarian population to avoid deficiency. However, many challenges are posed when Vitamin B12 is given orally and intramuscularly. Thus, there is a continuous need for development of newer strategies to effectively deliver the appropriate levels of Vitamin B12. There are variety of causes for the deficiency which also includes certain drug induced causes. Many novel drug delivery strategies have been attempted to deliver cobalamin effectively viz. the sublingual route, intranasal route, transdermal route, and these drug delivery strategies have proven to give beneficial results in preclinical trials or in human subjects. This review article gives an overview of the sources, absorption, causes, chemistry, biochemistry, available treatments for deficiency and the recent methods that have evolved for mitigating the problem of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Keywords: Vitamin B12, Cyanocobalamin, transdermal, perineural, nanoparticles, microemulsions


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