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Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jul; 78(1):131-6.AJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Vegetarians have a lower intake of vitamin B-12 than do omnivores. Early and reliable diagnosis of vitamin B-12 deficiency is very important.

OBJECTIVE

The objective was to investigate vitamin B-12 status in vegetarians and nonvegetarians.

DESIGN

The study cohort included 66 lactovegetarians or lactoovovegetarians (LV-LOV group), 29 vegans, and 79 omnivores. Total vitamin B-12, methylmalonic acid, holotranscobalamin II, and total homocysteine concentrations were assayed in serum.

RESULTS

Of the 3 groups, the vegans had the lowest vitamin B-12 status. In subjects who did not consume vitamins, low holotranscobalamin II (< 35 pmol/L) was found in 11% of the omnivores, 77% of the LV-LOV group, and 92% of the vegans. Elevated methylmalonic acid (> 271 nmol/L) was found in 5% of the omnivores, 68% of the LV-LOV group, and 83% of the vegans. Hyperhomocysteinemia (> 12 micromol/L) was present in 16% of the omnivores, 38% of the LV-LOV group, and 67% of the vegans. The correlation between holotranscobalamin II and vitamin B-12 was weak in the low serum vitamin B-12 range (r = 0.403) and strong in the high serum vitamin B-12 range (r = 0.769). Holotranscobalamin II concentration was the main determinant of total homocysteine concentration in the vegetarians (beta = -0.237, P < 0.001). Vitamin B-12 deficiency led to hyperhomocysteinemia that was not probable in the upper folate range (> 42.0 nmol/L).

CONCLUSIONS

Vegan subjects and, to a lesser degree, subjects in the LV-LOV group had metabolic features indicating vitamin B-12 deficiency that led to a substantial increase in total homocysteine concentrations. Vitamin B-12 status should be monitored in vegetarians. Health aspects of vegetarianism should be considered in the light of possible damaging effects arising from vitamin B-12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Central Laboratory, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Saarland University Hospital, Homburg, Germany. kchwher@uniklinik-saarland.deNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12816782

Citation

Herrmann, Wolfgang, et al. "Vitamin B-12 Status, Particularly Holotranscobalamin II and Methylmalonic Acid Concentrations, and Hyperhomocysteinemia in Vegetarians." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 78, no. 1, 2003, pp. 131-6.
Herrmann W, Schorr H, Obeid R, et al. Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(1):131-6.
Herrmann, W., Schorr, H., Obeid, R., & Geisel, J. (2003). Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78(1), 131-6.
Herrmann W, et al. Vitamin B-12 Status, Particularly Holotranscobalamin II and Methylmalonic Acid Concentrations, and Hyperhomocysteinemia in Vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(1):131-6. PubMed PMID: 12816782.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians. AU - Herrmann,Wolfgang, AU - Schorr,Heike, AU - Obeid,Rima, AU - Geisel,Jürgen, PY - 2003/6/21/pubmed PY - 2003/7/9/medline PY - 2003/6/21/entrez SP - 131 EP - 6 JF - The American journal of clinical nutrition JO - Am J Clin Nutr VL - 78 IS - 1 N2 - BACKGROUND: Vegetarians have a lower intake of vitamin B-12 than do omnivores. Early and reliable diagnosis of vitamin B-12 deficiency is very important. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to investigate vitamin B-12 status in vegetarians and nonvegetarians. DESIGN: The study cohort included 66 lactovegetarians or lactoovovegetarians (LV-LOV group), 29 vegans, and 79 omnivores. Total vitamin B-12, methylmalonic acid, holotranscobalamin II, and total homocysteine concentrations were assayed in serum. RESULTS: Of the 3 groups, the vegans had the lowest vitamin B-12 status. In subjects who did not consume vitamins, low holotranscobalamin II (< 35 pmol/L) was found in 11% of the omnivores, 77% of the LV-LOV group, and 92% of the vegans. Elevated methylmalonic acid (> 271 nmol/L) was found in 5% of the omnivores, 68% of the LV-LOV group, and 83% of the vegans. Hyperhomocysteinemia (> 12 micromol/L) was present in 16% of the omnivores, 38% of the LV-LOV group, and 67% of the vegans. The correlation between holotranscobalamin II and vitamin B-12 was weak in the low serum vitamin B-12 range (r = 0.403) and strong in the high serum vitamin B-12 range (r = 0.769). Holotranscobalamin II concentration was the main determinant of total homocysteine concentration in the vegetarians (beta = -0.237, P < 0.001). Vitamin B-12 deficiency led to hyperhomocysteinemia that was not probable in the upper folate range (> 42.0 nmol/L). CONCLUSIONS: Vegan subjects and, to a lesser degree, subjects in the LV-LOV group had metabolic features indicating vitamin B-12 deficiency that led to a substantial increase in total homocysteine concentrations. Vitamin B-12 status should be monitored in vegetarians. Health aspects of vegetarianism should be considered in the light of possible damaging effects arising from vitamin B-12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia. SN - 0002-9165 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12816782/Vitamin_B_12_status_particularly_holotranscobalamin_II_and_methylmalonic_acid_concentrations_and_hyperhomocysteinemia_in_vegetarians_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/ajcn/78.1.131 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -