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Curr Geriatr Rep. 2018;7(2):103-113. doi: 10.1007/s13670-018-0241-5. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Consequences of Inadequate Intakes of Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Folate in Older Persons.

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1Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida USA.
2Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA USA.
3Evidence and Programme Guidance Unit, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, World Health Organization, 20 Av Appia, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.


Purpose of Review:

This review broadly discusses the consequences of inadequate consumption, by deficit or excess, of selected micronutrients on the quality of life and morbidity during aging, specifically considering increases in life expectancy and the costs of care in the older persons.

Recent Findings:

A literature review of the periods 2012 to 2018, focusing on vitamins A, B12, and D, calcium, iron and folate, was completed as these micronutrients are found to significantly affect the aging process. Causation and application of these micronutrients to disorders related to aging are controversial and mixed. This review highlights research needs and controversial points on the role of these micronutrients.


Micronutrient deficiencies are a common and avoidable contributor to decreased quality of life and healthcare costs in the older persons. Further research is needed to determine adequate intakes and innovative uses, including appropriate thresholds for improved health outcomes for this population.


Aging; Calcium; Deficiency; Excess; Folate; Iron; Micronutrients; Older persons; Vitamin A; Vitamin B12; Vitamin D

Conflict of interest statement

Compliance with Ethical StandardsMaria Nieves Garcia-Casal is a full staff member of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO gratefully acknowledges the financial contribution of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA. Jessica Watson, Marissa Lee and Maria Nieves Garcia-Casal declare no conflict of interest.This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this article and they do not necessarily represent the views, decisions or policies of the institutions with which they are affiliated.

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