Multivitamin use and B vitamin status in a homebound elderly population

J. S. Buell, L. N. Arsenault, T. M. Scott, W. Qiao Qiu, I. H. Rosenberg, M. F. Folstein, Katherine L. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Homebound elderly are at increased risk for micronutrient deficiencies and nutritional status in this population has not been adequately described. There is evidence for beneficial effects of multivitamin use and a greater understanding of their nutritional contribution could identify behaviors that may help alleviate excess chronic disease. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate, in a racially diverse group of homebound elders, the association of multivitamin use with measures of plasma B vitamin concentrations. Design: We examined the cross-sectional association between multivitamin use and plasma concentrations of B vitamins and homocysteine in 236 white and 182 black homebound elders (65-99y). Dietary intake was assessed and demographic and health information was ascertained. Results: White and black elders had a high prevalence of dietary intakes below the Estimated Average Requirement for folate (38.1 and 40.7%), vitamin B6 (16.9 and 19.2%.), and vitamin B12 (3 and 3.9%) respectively. Multivitamin use was associated with higher mean plasma B vitamin concentrations in each group. In whites, multivitamin users had higher concentrations of vitamin B6 (64.6 vs. 32.4 nmol/L; p<0.001), vitamin B12 (398 vs. 324 pmol/L;p<0.001) and folate (39.4 vs. 30.4 nmol/L;p<0.001). Black multivitamin users had higher concentrations of vitamin B6 (53.7 vs. 29.5 nmol/L; p<0.001), B12 (427 vs. 372 pmol/L; p<0.05) and folate (35.7 vs. 25.4 nmol/L;p<0.001) than non-users. Conclusions: Multivitamin supplementation was associated with higher mean plasma concentrations of vitamins B6, B12, and folate and lower prevalence of low plasma B vitamin status in a biracial homebound elderly population. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition, Health and Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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