Article

Breakfast cereal fortified with folic acid, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 increases vitamin concentrations and reduces homocysteine concentrations: A randomized trial

Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, 711 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.92). 06/2004; 79(5):805-11.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT High homocysteine and low B vitamin concentrations have been linked to the risk of vascular disease, stroke, and dementia and are relatively common in older adults.
We assessed the effect of breakfast cereal fortified with folic acid, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12 on vitamin and homocysteine status.
A randomized, double-blind trial was conducted in 189 volunteers aged 50-85 y. The subjects had no history of hypertension, anemia, asthma, cancer, or cardiovascular or digestive disease and did not regularly consume multiple or B vitamin supplements or highly fortified breakfast cereal. Subjects were randomly assigned to consume 1 cup (0.24 L) breakfast cereal fortified with 440 microg folic acid, 1.8 mg vitamin B-6, and 4.8 microg vitamin B-12 or placebo cereal for 12 wk. Blood was drawn at 0, 2, 12, and 14 wk. Methionine-loading tests were conducted at baseline and week 14.
Final baseline-adjusted plasma homocysteine concentrations were significantly lower and B vitamin concentrations were significantly higher in the treatment group than in the placebo group (P < 0.001). The percentage of subjects with plasma folate concentrations < 11 nmol/L decreased from 2% to 0%, with vitamin B-12 concentrations < 185 pmol/L from 9% to 3%, with vitamin B-6 concentrations < 20 nmol/L from 6% to 2%, and with homocysteine concentrations > 10.4 micromol/L (women) or > 11.4 micromol/L (men) from 6.4% to 1.6%. The percentage of control subjects with values beyond these cutoff points remained nearly constant or increased.
In this relatively healthy group of volunteers, consumption of 1 cup fortified breakfast cereal daily significantly increased B vitamin and decreased homocysteine concentrations, including post-methionine-load homocysteine concentrations.

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    • "Ready-to-eat cereal products fortified with vitamin B12 are known to constitute a great proportion of dietary vitamin B12 intake (Watanabe 2007). Several groups of investigators suggested that eating a breakfast cereal fortified with folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 increases blood concentrations of these vitamins and decreases plasma total homocysteine concentrations in elderly populations (Tucker et al. 2004). Therefore, fortified breakfast cereals have therefore become a particularly valuable source of vitamin B12 for elderly people and for vegetarians and/or vegans (Watanabe 2007). "
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