Macrocytic anemia primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Shyam Patel [2] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Omer Kamal, M.D.[3]


There are multiple primary ways to reduce the incidence of macrocytic anemia. Green leafy vegetables, milk, and meat are a good source of vitamin B12. Alcohol consumption can lead to macrocytic anemia, so avoidance is a preventive measure.


The following steps can be done to prevent macrocytic anemia:[1][2][3][4][5]

  • Dietary modification: Green leafy vegetables, milk, and meat are a good source of vitamin B12.
  • Alcohol abstinence: Alcohol consumption can lead to macrocytic anemia[6]. The combination of poor nutritional intake and excess alcohol consumption can cause megaloblastic anemia.


  1. Gille D, Schmid A (February 2015). "Vitamin B12 in meat and dairy products". Nutr. Rev. 73 (2): 106–15. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuu011. PMID 26024497.
  2. Sharma S, Sheehy T, Kolonel LN (April 2013). "Contribution of meat to vitamin B₁₂, iron and zinc intakes in five ethnic groups in the USA: implications for developing food-based dietary guidelines". J Hum Nutr Diet. 26 (2): 156–68. doi:10.1111/jhn.12035. PMC 5023012. PMID 23398393.
  3. Kwak CS, Lee MS, Lee HJ, Whang JY, Park SC (June 2010). "Dietary source of vitamin B(12) intake and vitamin B(12) status in female elderly Koreans aged 85 and older living in rural area". Nutr Res Pract. 4 (3): 229–34. doi:10.4162/nrp.2010.4.3.229. PMC 2895704. PMID 20607069.
  4. Metz J (October 2013). "Haematological implications of folate food fortification". S. Afr. Med. J. 103 (12 Suppl 1): 978–81. doi:10.7196/samj.7022. PMID 24300642.
  5. Swain RA, St Clair L (February 1997). "The role of folic acid in deficiency states and prevention of disease". J Fam Pract. 44 (2): 138–44. PMID 9040515.
  6. Fernando OV, Grimsley EW (August 1998). "Prevalence of folate deficiency and macrocytosis in patients with and without alcohol-related illness". South. Med. J. 91 (8): 721–5. PMID 9715215.

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