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Vitamin B12-fortified toothpaste improves vitamin status in elderly people: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

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  • Ayman Zant, Saarland University Hospital, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Building 57, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.
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  • Hussain M Awwad, Saarland University Hospital, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Building 57, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.
  • ,
  • Jürgen Geisel, Saarland University Hospital, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Building 57, 66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany.
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  • Markus Keller, Institute of Alternative and Sustainable Nutrition, 35444, Biebertal/Giessen, Germany., University of Applied Sciences
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  • Rima Obeid, Saarland University Hospital, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Building 57, D-66421, Homburg/Saar, Germany; Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Aarhus, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, Building 1632, Dk-8000, Aarhus C, Denmark. Electronic address: rima.obeid@uks.eu.

BACKGROUND: Elderly people are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

AIMS: We studied the ability of vitamin B12-enriched toothpaste vs. placebo to increase vitamin B12 status in elderly subjects.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled intervention in 103 elderly subjects. Serum concentrations of vitamin B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) were measured at baseline and after 3 months.

RESULTS: 92 subjects met the inclusion criteria, completed the 3 months study, and were included in the data analysis. After the intervention, concentrations of vitamin B12 were higher [mean (SD) = 368 (123) vs. 295 (123) pmol/L; p = 0.005] and holoTC tended to be higher [112 (48) vs. 91 (68) pmol/L; p = 0.088] in the vitamin B12 group compared with the placebo group. The changes of serum vitamin B12 [54 (74) vs. 3 (60) pmol/L, p < 0.001], holoTC [21 (34) vs. 2 (32) pmol/L, p = 0.007], and tHcy [- 0.9 (2.3) vs. 0.3 (1.9) µmol/L, p = 0.010] were significantly different between the intervention groups. Mean percentage increase of serum vitamin B12 (+ 23% corresponds to + 54 pmol/L) in the vitamin B12 toothpaste group suggests that the intervention had provided an additional daily intake of approximately + 7 µg oral B12. Common diseases and drugs did not predict the change of blood markers in the vitamin group. No side effects were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: The toothpaste enriched with 100 µg cyanocobalamin/g has increased vitamin B12 status and can thus be used for preventing vitamin B12 depletion in elderly people. The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02679833.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume31
Issue12
Pages (from-to)1817-1825
Number of pages9
ISSN1594-0667
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

    Research areas

  • Elderly, Holotranscobalamin, Supplementation, Vitamin B12 deficiency

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