Dynamics and interactions of cobalamin and folate status during advanced aging - a longitudinal study in a community-dwelling cohort with multiple follow-ups.Nutr J. 2020 Jul 02; 19(1):64.NJ
Older people are reported to be prone to imbalances between cobalamin and folate status with possible adverse effects on health. This longitudinal study investigates dynamics and interactions of cobalamin and folate status in a cohort of community-dwelling older adults by considering possible influencing factors.
In total, 332 subjects ≥ 60 years were investigated over a mean observation period of 12 years. Data collection included serum cobalamin, folate and creatinine, dietary intakes of cobalamin, folate and alcohol, use of supplements, body composition, smoking behavior, and diseases. Linear mixed-effects models with repeated measurements were used to investigate the influence of variables on serum cobalamin and folate.
At baseline, median cobalamin intake exceeded the dietary reference value (DRV), while median folate intake was considerably below DRV. In most subjects, serum concentrations of both vitamins were within reference ranges. For serum cobalamin, apart from supplement use (Parameter estimate [95% confidence interval]: 130.17 [53.32, 207.01]), the main positive predictor was serum folate (4.63 [2.64, 6.62]). For serum folate, serum creatinine (10.85 [4.85, 16.86]), use of supplements (7.86 [5.05, 10.67]), serum cobalamin (0.01 [< 0.01, 0.01]), and dietary folate intake (0.02 [0.01, 0.03]) were positive predictors. No main effects of age, sex, body composition, alcohol intake or smoking were found after adjusting for simultaneous inference.
Advancing age, per se, is no risk factor for a decline in serum concentrations of cobalamin or folate in subjects ≥ 60 years. Suboptimal folate intake may limit the function of folate regarding the supply of methyl groups for methylation of cobalamin and subsequent creatine biosynthesis. The positive association of serum creatinine with folate deserves further exploration with regard to its possible relevance for maintaining energy dependent functional integrity in the course of ageing.