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Moderate ‘multivitamin’ supplementation improved folate and vitamin B12 status in the elderly


Tal, S. ; Stern, F. ; Polyak, Z. ; Ichelzon, I. ; Dror, Y. Moderate ‘multivitamin’ supplementation improved folate and vitamin B12 status in the elderly. Experimental Gerontology 2016, 84, 101-106.


The dependent elderly are widely considered to be at higher risk of nutritional problems. Suboptimal micronutrient intake might put the elderly, especially those living in nursing homes, at high risk of morbidity. So far, no public authority, except for the Israel Ministry of Health, has issued particular recommendations for micronutrient supplementation for the elderly. We hypothesized that moderate ‘multivitamin’ supplementation could improve the vitamin status of the dependent elderly. The study took place in two nursing homes and included 144 dependent elderly (males/females, 35/109). Demographic and clinical data as well as routine blood tests were retrieved from the patient electronic medical records. After a two-year daily ‘multivitamin’ supplementation, containing 120 μg of folic acid, there was a small and non-significant increase of 12% in serum folate; the same ‘multivitamin’ preparatory, containing 2.4 μg of vitamin B12, significantly increased serum vitamin B12 by 8%. Three models of evaluation clearly showed the effect of a two- year vitamin supplementation: 1. The number of subjects with the lowest baseline concentration range, decreased, with moderate concentration, increased, with no difference at the higher concentrations; 2. Above each vitamin concentration, the number of subjects was higher than at baseline; 3. The two vitamins at the two lower concentration tertiles increased, and at the highest tertile, folate was not affected, whereas vitamin B12 decreased. Therefore, very moderate ‘multivitamin’ supplementation, as practiced in our study, has a high probability of improving vulnerable old population health status without causing any adverse effects to others. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.