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Dietary Sources of Vitamin B-12 and Their Association with Vitamin B-12 Status Markers in Healthy Older Adults in the B-PROOF Study

Brouwer-Brolsma, Elske M.; Dhonukshe-Rutten, Rosalie A. M.; van Wijngaarden, Janneke P.; Zwaluw, Nikita L. van der; Velde, Nathalie van der; de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M.

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September 14, 2015


PMID: 26389945 PMCID: PMC4586559


Low vitamin B-12 concentrations are frequently observed among older adults. Malabsorption is hypothesized to be an important cause of vitamin B-12 inadequacy, but serum vitamin B-12 may also be differently affected by vitamin B-12 intake depending on food source. We examined associations between dietary sources of vitamin B-12 (meat, fish and shellfish, eggs, dairy) and serum vitamin B-12, using cross-sectional data of 600 Dutch community-dwelling adults (≥65 years). Dietary intake was assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire. Vitamin B-12 concentrations were measured in serum. Associations were studied over tertiles of vitamin B-12 intake using P for trend, by calculating prevalence ratios (PRs), and splines. Whereas men had significantly higher vitamin B-12 intakes than women (median (25th-75th percentile): 4.18 (3.29-5.38) versus 3.47 (2.64-4.40) μg/day), serum vitamin B-12 did not differ between the two sexes (mean ± standard deviation (SD): 275 ± 104 pmol/L versus 290 ± 113 pmol/L). Higher intakes of dairy, meat, and fish and shellfish were significantly associated with higher serum vitamin B-12 concentrations, where meat and dairy-predominantly milk were the most potent sources. Egg intake did not significantly contribute to higher serum vitamin B-12 concentrations. Thus, dairy and meat were the most important contributors to serum vitamin B-12, followed by fish and shellfish.

Automatic Tags

Female; Humans; Male; Aging; Cross-Sectional Studies; Aged; Age Factors; Diet; Sex Factors; Nutritional Status; Vitamin B 12; Biomarkers; Prevalence; Surveys and Questionnaires; dairy; Dairy Products; Netherlands; Nutrition Assessment; milk; Eggs; Seafood; Fishes; Shellfish; cheese; eggs; fish and shellfish; serum vitamin B-12; vitamin B-12 intake; Vitamin B Deficiency

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