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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan;83(1):52-8.

A daily intake of approximately 6 microg vitamin B-12 appears to saturate all the vitamin B-12-related variables in Danish postmenopausal women.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Nørrebrogade Section, Aarhus Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.



Recommended daily intakes of vitamin B-12 vary between 2 and 6 microg.


The objective was to examine the associations between vitamin B-12 intake and markers of vitamin B-12 deficiency.


We studied 98 Danish postmenopausal women aged 41-75 y. Serum cobalamin, transcobalamin (TC) saturated with vitamin B-12 (holo-TC), TC saturation (holo-TC/total TC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and total homocysteine (tHcy) were measured to assess vitamin B-12 status. Dietary intakes of vitamin B-12 were determined from 7-d weighed food records. Gastric pH measurement and the alkali-challenge test were performed with the use of Heidelberg radiotelemetric capsules.


The total intake of vitamin B-12 ranged from 1.2 to 23.9 microg/d. All vitamin B-12-related variables, except gastric pH, correlated significantly with total vitamin B-12 intake. Those taking supplements (54%) had higher circulating concentrations of cobalamin and TC saturation and lower concentrations of MMA and tHcy than did those not taking supplements. All subjects were divided into quintiles according to their total vitamin B-12 intake. For all the variables analyzed, the curves appeared to level off at a daily vitamin B-12 intake of approximately 6 microg; the median (and 25th-75th percentiles) for cobalamin was 380 (270-480) pmol/L, for holo-TC was 119 (92-162) pmol/L, for MMA was 0.12 (0.14-0.17) micromol/L, and for tHcy was 9.75 (8.3-11.40) micromol/L (n = 58).


A daily vitamin B-12 intake of 6 microg appeared to be sufficient to correct all the vitamin B-12-related variables measured in the postmenopausal Danish women in this study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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