According to a new study, one in eight older adults from Ireland may be deficient in Vitamin B12 with one in seven deficient in Folate. This study may be of great importance to countries that do not mandate fortification requirements.
This data came from the TILDA (The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing). The study found deficient or low Vitamin B12 was more prevalent in people who lived alone (14.3%), smokers (14%) and individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds (13%). Low or deficient Folate rates was found in participants as they aged, 23% in individuals over 80 years of age and 14% among those in the 50 – 60 year old age bracket. Low Folate levels were also determined to be more common in smokers, obese individuals and people who lived alone. Supplementation in the study participants was low but more women than men both Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid, however less than 4% of the study group took either vitamin.
Countries like the United State have mandatory folic acid fortification and have reduced rates of individuals with low Folate status, 1.2% in the US compared with 15% in Ireland.
Further studies are needed.
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