Vitamin B12 deficient vegan baby in Ireland (2016)

No news is good news. But unfortunately here's the news.

In an email alert from PubMed I received this title (no abstract available):

Severe Vitamin B12 Deficiency; an Unusual Cause of Developmental Regression in Infants.

An "unusual case" - please let this not be a vegan baby - again.

Unfortunately, yes, a vegan baby. Fortunately, the brain damage was apparently 100% reversible.

  • 10 month old vegan girl
  • born at home, no neonatal screening, no routine MD visits
  • severe B12 deficiency symptoms
  • underweight, pale, irritable, unable to sit without support, couldn't smile or roll over anymore, no babbling, no mouthing of objects
  • B12 blood level at 136 pg/mL
  • EEG showed mild brain abnormalities
  • received B12 injections and B12 fortified breast milk (via a nasogastric tube)
  • girl recovered completely
  • mother and siblings also had B12 deficiency
  • family switched to an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet and received guidance by a dietitian


Yousif TI, Shukla PJ, Gallagher S:
Severe vitamin B12 deficiency; an unusual cause of developmental regression in infants. Ir Med J, 109: 474 (2016)