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Older Men with Low Vitamin B12 Levels Exhibit Higher Risk for Fracture, Study Says

old-man-fractureFindings by the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg indicate that older men with low levels of vitamin B12 face a higher risk of fractures. A news release from the University of Gothenburg notes that the study is part of an international study initiated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US and encompasses a total of 11,000 older men.

The release states that for their part of the study, Gothenburg researchers assessed 1,000 Swedish men, MrOS Sweden, average age 75 years, and used a variety of tactics to analyze the blood concentrations of the B vitamins B12 and folate. According to the results, the risk of fracture 6 years later was higher among men who exhibited low B12 levels at the beginning of the study than men with normal B12 levels.

Researchers add that in the quartile with the lowest B12 content, the risk rose 70% when compared with the others. The risk elevation, researchers say, primarily relate to fractures in the lumbar region, where the risk increase was up to 120%.

Catharina Lewerin, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy, explains that while it has not been scientifically established whether older men can prevent fractures by eating more vitamin B12, “…such studies are underway, including one large Dutch study where older individuals over the age of 65 are treated with both vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin D to investigate the occurrence of fractures.”

Lewerin adds that as of now, there is no reason to consume more vitamin B12, “rather treatment shall only be applied in confirmed cases of deficiencies and in some cases to prevent deficiencies. For anyone who wants to strengthen their bones and prevent fractures, physical activity 30 minutes a day and quitting smoking is good self care,” Lewerin emphasizes.

Source: University of Gothenburg