Maternal vegan diet causing a serious infantile neurological disorder due to vitamin B12 deficiency

Abstract

We present a 9-month-old exclusively breastfed baby of a strict vegetarian mother who had excluded all animal proteins from her diet. The patient's symptoms included dystrophy, weakness, muscular atrophy, loss of tendon reflexes, psychomotor regression and haematological abnormalities. Biochemical investigations revealed severe methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria in the patient, slight methylmalonic aciduria in the mother and low concentrations of serum vitamin B12 in both patient and mother.

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Abbreviations

LDH:

lactic dehydrogenase

MMA:

methylmalonic acid

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Kühne, T., Bubl, R. & Baumgartner, R. Maternal vegan diet causing a serious infantile neurological disorder due to vitamin B12 deficiency. Eur J Pediatr 150, 205–208 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01963568

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Key words

  • Vitamin B12
  • Methylmalonic acid
  • Homocysteine
  • Vegetarian diet