Vitamin B-12 status in a macrobiotic community

Am J Clin Nutr. 1991 Feb;53(2):524-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/53.2.524.


Vitamin B-12 status was assessed in a group of 110 adults and 42 children from a macrobiotic community in New England. Dietary and anthropometric information also was obtained. Fifty-one percent of the adults had low concentrations of serum vitamin B-12, which inversely correlated with duration of macrobiotic diet practice. Urinary methylmalonic acid (MMA) excretion was inversely correlated with serum vitamin B-12, and 30% of adults sampled had high urinary MMA. Fifty-five percent of children had high urinary MMA, and MMA was higher in the group that consumed a macrobiotic diet during their entire lifetime. Children were relatively short in stature and weight, and decreased stature was associated with high urinary MMA. In both adults and children vitamin B-12 status was better with more consumption of dairy products or with higher tertile of reported frequencies of vitamin B-12 consumption of various animal products. Vitamin B-12 status appeared to be unrelated to consumption of several vegetarian foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / blood
  • Aging / urine
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dairy Products
  • Diet, Macrobiotic*
  • Eggs
  • Female
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Methylmalonic Acid / urine
  • Middle Aged
  • Oceans and Seas
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Regression Analysis
  • Vegetables
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood*


  • Methylmalonic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12