Anemia causes

Causes of anemia include genetic defects, disease, inflammation, infection, medication side effects and, most commonly, nutritional deficiencies. Identifying the cause is extremely important in order to rule out serious illness and to ensure that treatment is successful.

Anemia can result from slow or rapid blood loss. While causes of rapid blood loss are usually clear, causes of slow blood loss may be less obvious and include bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, hemorrhoids and menstrual difficulties.

Old and abnormal red blood cells are removed from the circulation and destroyed, mainly by the spleen. The most common cause of excessive destruction of red blood cells is abnormal shape, which is often a result of a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Anemia due to lowered red blood cell production is the most widespread type. Lack of a number of vitamins and minerals can lead to deficient red blood cell production; most commonly, iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid. When identifying the cause of anemia it is important to remember that it may be due to a deficiency of more than one nutrient. Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency anemias may occur together, as may iron and vitamin B12 deficiency anemias.

Vitamin B6 deficiency can also cause anemia, as hemoglobin and red blood cells are not formed normally. Supplements can improve the symptoms within a few weeks. Riboflavin may enhance the effectiveness of iron supplementation treatment of anemia, as it appears that iron utilization is impaired in riboflavin deficiency.

Anemia causes: Vitamin E deficiency

Although it is very rare, one of the symptoms of vitamin E deficiency is hemolytic anemia (where the red blood cells are broken down faster than the bone marrow can replace them). This may be related to the ability of vitamin E to protect cell membranes from free radical damage. This type of anemia is sometimes seen in babies born prematurely, and vitamin E supplements may be useful in prevention of symptoms, although there is some controversy over this.

Anemia causes: Other vitamins and minerals and anemia

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays an important role in iron absorption, and vitamin C deficiency may lead to anemia due to reduced iron absorption. Vitamin C is also involved in folic acid metabolism which may affect red blood cell formation.


In adults, symptoms of copper deficiency include anemia as red blood cell development is inhibited. Copper plays a role in iron absorption and mobilization and can stimulate hemoglobin synthesis. Copper deficiency anemia may occur if large doses of zinc are taken for long periods, as zinc competes with copper for absorption. Iron deficiency anemia may improve more quickly ifboth copper and iron supplements are given.


A deficiency of cobalt is equivalent to a deficiency of vitamin B12 with symptoms of pernicious anemia, nerve disorders and abnormalities in cell formation. However, the anemia cannot be treated with cobalt alone.


Selenium is a component of the enzyme, glutathione peroxidase, which protects red blood cells from free radical damage and destruction. Selenium deficiency may play a role in, or aggravate anemia, and it has been found that increasing selenium intake in animals sometimes corrects anemia..


Prolonged high intakes of zinc may lead to copper deficiency anemia. Zinc deficiency occurs in sickle cell anemia and sufferers may benefit from supplements.

Search over 10,000 Natural Remedies and Alternative Medicine Articles

Anemia what is
Anemia symptoms
Anemia diagnosis
Anemia causes
Anemia prevention
Iron deficiency anemia
Iron deficiency anemia pregnancy
Iron deficiency anemia children
Iron deficiency anemia treatment
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia
Folic acid deficiency anemia
Anemia vitamin supplements
Anemia natural remedies
Anemia worse



Other Health Problems:

Acne Rosacea
Acne Vulgaris
Age Spots
Alzheimer's disease
Athlete's Foot
Autoimmune Disorders
Binge Eating
Bleeding Gums
Blood Sugar Stabilization
Breast Cancer
Breast Disease, Benign
Bulimia Nervosa