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Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2010;2010:374897. doi: 10.1155/2010/374897. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Discovery of novel sources of vitamin b(12) in traditional korean foods from nutritional surveys of centenarians.

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Institute on Aging, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-810, Republic of Korea.


Human longevity can be explained by a variety of factors, among them, nutritional factor would play an important role. In our study of Korean centenarians for their longevity, the apparent nutritional imbalance in the traditional semi-vegetarian diet raised a special attention, especially on vitamin B(12) status, supplied by animal foods. Interestingly, we found that the prevalence of vitamin B(12) deficient Korean centenarians was not higher compared with those from Western nations with animal-oriented traditional foods. We assumed that there might be some unveiled sources for vitamin B(12) in the Korean traditional foods. Screening of vitamin B(12) contents has revealed that some traditional soybean-fermented foods, such as Doenjang and Chunggukjang, and seaweeds contain considerable amounts of vitamin B(12). Taken together, it can be summarized that the traditional foods, especially of fermentation, might be evaluated for compensation of the nutritional imbalance in the vegetable-oriented dietary pattern by supplying vitamin B(12), resulting in maintenance of health status.

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