Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Mar;105(3):618-625. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.141978. Epub 2017 Jan 4.

Vitamin B-12-fortified toothpaste improves vitamin status in vegans: a 12-wk randomized placebo-controlled study.

Author information

Institute of Alternative and Sustainable Nutrition, Biebertal, Giessen, Germany.
Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Saarland University Hospital, Homburg, Saarland, Germany; and.
Center for Laboratory Medicine and Microbiology, Essen, Germany.
Institute of Alternative and Sustainable Nutrition, Biebertal, Giessen, Germany;


Background: The oral application of vitamin B-12 may prevent its deficiency if the vitamin is absorbed via the mucosal barrier.Objectives: We studied the effect of the use of a vitamin B-12-fortified toothpaste on vitamin-status markers in vegans and assessed the efficiency of markers in the identification of vitamin-augmentation status.Design: In this 12-wk, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 76 vegans received either a placebo (n = 34) or vitamin B-12 (n = 42) toothpaste. Sixty-six subjects (n = 30 in the placebo arm; n = 36 in the vitamin B-12 arm) completed the intervention. Serum and plasma concentrations of vitamin B-12, holotranscobalamin, total homocysteine (tHcy), and methylmalonic acid (MMA) were measured before and after the intervention.Results: Both postintervention concentrations of vitamin B-12 and holotranscobalamin and their changes over 12 wk were higher in the vitamin B-12 group (mean ± SD change: 81 ± 135 pmol/L for vitamin B-12 and 26 ± 34 pmol/L for holotranscobalamin) than in the placebo group (-27 ± 64 and -5 ± 17 pmol/L, respectively) after adjustment for baseline concentrations. Postintervention concentrations of MMA and their changes differed significantly between groups (MMA changes: -0.169 ± 0.340 compared with -0.036 ± 0.544 μmol/L in vitamin B-12 and placebo groups, respectively; P < 0.001). After adjustment for baseline tHcy, postintervention concentrations of tHcy tended to be lower (P = 0.051), and the changes in tHcy (-0.7 ± 4.4 compared with 2.0 ± 5.6 μmol/L, respectively) were greater in the vitamin B-12 group than in the placebo group. Changes in vitamin B-12 markers were more prominent in vegans who reported that they had not taken vitamin B-12 supplements.Conclusion: Vitamin B-12 that is applied to the oral cavity via toothpaste enters the circulation and corrects the vitamin B-12 markers in the blood of vegans who are at higher risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency. This trial was registered at as NCT02679833.


deficiency; holotranscobalamin; methylmalonic acid; supplementation; vegans; vitamin B-12

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center