NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Institute of Medicine (US) Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes and its Panel on Folate, Other B Vitamins, and Choline. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1998.

Cover of Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline

Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline.

Show details

NEstimation of the Period Covered by Vitamin B12 Stores

As indicated in Chapter 9, it is possible to estimate the length of time body stores of vitamin B12 held in reserve will maintain adequate nutriture when dietary intake is nonexistent as a result of adopting a vegan or similar diet very low in B12 or when decreased absorption of vitamin B12 occurs as a result of atrophic gastritis or pernicious anemia.

This estimate is based on being able to ascertain what the expected turnover rate will be (0.1, 0.15, and 0.2 percent have been found experimentally to occur). It has been estimated that in individuals with normal absorption and reabsorption rates for vitamin B12, the daily turnover is 0.1 percent per day. For individuals with pernicious anemia, who cannot absorb or reabsorb vitamin B12, the turnover rate is about 0.2 percent of the body pool or stores per day. As individuals develop various degrees of atrophic gastritis, it is possible that a turnover rate of 0.15 percent is appropriate.

To estimate how long body stores of vitamin B12 can be depended on to maintain health, it is also necessary to know the lowest pool size of vitamin B12 consistent with health, which could be considered to be the threshold before which signs of inadequate B12 would begin to occur. As is indicated in Chapter 9, this has been estimated to be approximately 300 μg (Bozian et al., 1963).

By calculating the ratio of the total body stores of vitamin B12 to this assumed threshold (or to a lower threshold if expected because of differences in individual requirements), it is possible to estimate how long body stores will meet the needs of the individual.

Table N-1 provides the ratio of the expected stores of an individual (in milligrams) to the threshold level of stores at which signs of vitamin B12 deficiency may appear. Usually the threshold value is not known, but studies suggest that it may be approximately 300 μg of vitamin B12 for adults (Bozian et al., 1963).

TABLE N-1. Table of Ratios Used to Estimate the Extent of Protection from Vitamin B12 Stores.

TABLE N-1

Table of Ratios Used to Estimate the Extent of Protection from Vitamin B12 Stores.

Tables N-2 and N-3 give the expected length in days (Table N-2) or years (Table N-3) for a given turnover rate and ratio from Table N-1 that body stores of vitamin B12 will sustain health in the individual. For example, from Table N-1 the ratio for an initial store of 3 mg of vitamin B12 and a threshold of 300 μg of vitamin B12 is 10. If the turnover rate is 0.1, the store would be expected to last 2,303 days, or 6.3 years.

TABLE N-2. Time in Days until Vitamin B12 Threshold Is Reached.

TABLE N-2

Time in Days until Vitamin B12 Threshold Is Reached.

TABLE N-3. Table of Time in Years until Vitamin B12 Threshold Below Which Deficiency Signs May Occur Is Reached.

TABLE N-3

Table of Time in Years until Vitamin B12 Threshold Below Which Deficiency Signs May Occur Is Reached.

REFERENCE

  • Bozian RC, Ferguson JL, Heyssel RM, Meneely GR, Darby WJ. Evidence concerning the human requirement for vitamin B12. Use of the whole body counter for determination of absorption of vitamin B12. Am J Clin Nutr. 1963;12:117–129. [PubMed: 14014759]
Copyright © 1998, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK114329
PubReader format: click here to try

Views

  • PubReader
  • Print View
  • Cite this Page
  • PDF version of this title (2.6M)

Related information

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...