eISSN: 1897-4317
ISSN: 1895-5770
Gastroenterology Review/Przegląd Gastroenterologiczny
Current issue Archive Manuscripts accepted About the journal Abstracting and indexing Subscription Contact Instructions for authors
SCImago Journal & Country Rank
2/2008
vol. 3
 
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abstract:

Type and length of vegetarian diet and serum vitamin B12 concentrations

Małgorzata Chabasińska
,
Juliusz Przysławski
,
Aleksandra Lisowska
,
Małgorzata Schlegel-Zawadzka
,
Marian Grzymisławski
,
Jarosław Walkowiak

Przegląd Gastroenterologiczny 2008; 3 (2): 63–67
Online publish date: 2008/04/18
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Introduction: Avoiding animal products is the basic principle of a vegetarian diet. Deficiency of vitamin B12 is its classic negative effect. The assessment of vitamin B12 resources is necessary to introduce supplementation in case of deficiency. A modern vegetarian diet includes the intake of semi-ready and ready-to-use products.
Aim: Assessment of the influence of a modern vegetarian diet on vitamin B12 resources.
Material and methods: The study comprised 118 vegetarians (40 vegans, 24 lacto vegetarians and 54 lacto-ovo vegetarians) and 90 omnivores. 53 vegetarians had been on the diet for less than 5 years and 65 for more than 5 years. Serum vitamin B12 concentrations were analyzed in all studied subjects.
Results: Long-term vegetarians had lower vitamin B12 concentrations (Xśr. ± SEM: 254±10 pg/ml) than healthy subjects (364±14 pg/ml). Levels of vitamin B12 were highest in lacto-ovo vegetarians (336±10 pg/ml) and lowest in vegans (281±37 pg/ml). Vitamin B12 deficiency was found in 24 (60%) vegans and in 1 (4.2%) lacto-vegetarian.
Conclusions: In modern vegetarians a significant decrease of vitamin B12 concentration is found. The type of diet and length of its application has a crucial role for vitamin B12 body resources. A vegan diet is the most restrictive in this respect. Thus a vegetarian diet, especially a vegan one, demands systematic control of serum vitamin B12 concentrations.
keywords:

vegetarian, diet, vitamin B12

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