Correction of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency No Benefit in Seniors

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Correction of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency No Benefit in Seniors
Correction of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency No Benefit in Seniors

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, vitamin B-12 supplementation is not associated with improvements in neurologic or cognitive function, according to a study published online July 1 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Alan D. Dangour, Ph.D., from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues examined whether vitamin B-12 supplementation benefits neurologic and cognitive function in 201 moderately vitamin B-12-deficient older people (age 75 years or older) without anemia. Participants were randomized to receive 1 mg crystalline vitamin B-12 or matching placebo daily for 12 months. Outcome data were available for 191 subjects.

The researchers found that randomization to vitamin B-12 correlated with increases of 177 percent in serum concentration of vitamin B-12 and 331 percent in serum holotranscobalamin, and with 17 percent lower serum homocysteine, compared with baseline. Supplementation was found to have no effect on the primary outcome of posterior tibial compound muscle action potential amplitude at two months, after adjustment for baseline neurologic function. Supplementation had no effect on any secondary peripheral nerve or central motor function outcome, or on cognitive function or clinical outcome.

"Results of the trial do not support the hypothesis that the correction of moderate vitamin B-12 deficiency, in the absence of anemia and of neurologic and cognitive signs or symptoms, has beneficial effects on neurologic or cognitive function in later life," the authors write.

DSM donated the vitamin B-12 used to manufacture the study tablets.

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