What medical conditions can affect my body's ability to absorb vitamins?

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Dariush Mozaffarian, MD
Internal Medicine
Gastric or ileal disease can block absorption of vitamin B12. Cystic fibrosis, chronic liver disease, and short-bowel syndrome can impair the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin E. Liver disease, kidney disease, or malabsorption maladies can trigger a deficiency of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and may help keep bones healthy. A lack of stomach acid -- which often occurs among the elderly -- makes it hard to absorb calcium and vitamin B12 from food. Crohn's disease and conditions that affect the small intestine can interfere with vitamin D absorption. In addition, medications for many health conditions can interfere with the absorption of some vitamins and minerals.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.