Forschung • Vitamin B-12 Status in women following plant-centered or western type diets mainly depends on dairy consumption
Ingrid Hoffmann1, Susanne Sachs1, Corinna Koebnick2, Thorsten Heuer1, Maike J Groeneveld1, and Claus Leitzmann1
1 Institute of
Nutritional Science, University of Giessen, Germany,
2 German Institute of Human Nutrition, 14558 Bergholz-Rehbruecke, Germany
Poster auf der Ninth European Conference, Rom, Italien, Oktober 2003
The growing evidence about favorable health effects of plant-centered diets raises the question about their long-term effect on vitamin B-12 status of women meeting preventive nutrition recommendations.
In a cross sectional study, 103 ovo-lacto vegetarians and 120 low-meat eaters (plant-centered diets) were compared to 122 women eating a Western type diet (control group). Those healthy women were aged 25-66 y and on their diet for at least 5 years. Dietary intake was assessed by a 7-day food record and vitamin B-12 status by plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations.
The ovo-lacto vegetarians and low-meat eaters consumed more fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products, but less foods of animal origin than the control group. Correspondingly, mean vitamin B-12 intakes and plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations were highest in the control group, followed by low-meat eaters and ovo-lacto vegetarians.
Plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations below 150pmol/L were observed in 11.5% of the control group, 22.5% of the low-meat eaters and 41.7% of the ovo-lacto vegetarians.
Ovo-lacto vegetarians reaching an adequate vitamin B-12 status (>250pmol/L) had a total vitamin B-12 intake of 2.4µg/d, low-meat eaters of 3.5µg/d, the control group of 6.2µg/d. However, the intake through dairy was similar for all subgroups with adequate vitamin B-12 status (about 2µg/d). In the ovo-lacto vegetarians and control group the consumption of dairy, but not of other vitamin B-12 sources, was significantly higher in the subgroups with adequate plasma concentrations than in those with a lower status (p=0.074, p=0.022, respectively).
The risk for low vitamin
B-12 concentrations is higher with plant-centered diets than
with a Western type diet. However, an adequate vitamin B-12
status may be reached, regardless of the diet, provided dairy
consumption is sufficient.