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Those experiencing pernicious anemia (an auto-immune reaction to either the parietal cells or intrinsic factor) go on to develop vitamin B12 deficiency through malabsorption if untreated. Deficiency could develop within 1–3 years in those experiencing malabsorption. 

Patients having surgical alteration of the distal ileum, Crohn’s disease, and using metformin are also at an increased risk for malabsorption.

Herbert (1994) estimates that deficiency could take as long as 20–30 years to develop in persons having normal absorption/reabsorption and suddenly ceasing to include substantial amounts of vitamin B12 in their diet during adulthood. This is due to the large amount of vitamin B12 that can be stored in the body and recycled through enterohepatic reabsorption. 

The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency increases with age and is associated with a number of conditions and treatments.

The main causes of vitamin B12 deficiency are

  • poor dietary intake (as in vegetarianism),
  • poor absorption (occurring in achlorhydria, pernicious anemia, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, Crohn’s disease, and metformin use),
  • poor distribution (genetic predisposition for aberrant proteins that are inefficient in transport or cellular uptake of vitamin B12).

Carl Sagan

A sharp distinction between humans and “animals” is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeeling toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.

Bacteria and Archaea

Archaea and bacteria (eubacteria) are single-celled organisms that do not have a nucleus or organelles. Archaea have a distinct evolutionary history and biochemistry compared with bacteria.

Archaea - a domain of single-celled microorganisms. These microbes are prokaryotes. Archaea can survive in extreme and harsh environments like hot springs, salt lakes, marshlands, oceans, gut of ruminants and humans.

Bacteria - a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Eubacteria are ubiquitous and are found in soil, hot springs, radioactive waste water, Earth's crust, organic matter, bodies of plants and animals, etc.

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