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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Western Human Nutrition Research Center » Obesity and Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #325608

Research Project: Novel Functions and Biomarkers for Vitamins and Minerals

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research

Title: Folate and vitamin B12 status in Latin America and the Caribbean: An update

Author
item Brito, Alex - University Of California
item Mujica-coopman, Maria - University Of Chile
item Olivares, Manuel - University Of Chile
item Lopez De Romana, Daniel - Micronutrient Initiative
item Cori, Hector - Dsm Nutritional Products, Ltd
item Allen, Lindsay

Submitted to: Food and Nutrition Bulletin
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2015
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
Citation: Brito, A., Mujica-Coopman, M.F., Olivares, M., Lopez De Romana, D., Cori, H., Allen, L.H. 2015. Folate and vitamin B12 status in Latin America and the Caribbean: An update. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2015, Vol. 36(Supplement 2); DOI: 10.1177/0379572115585772.

Interpretive Summary: Background: The current magnitude of folate and vitamin B12 deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean is uncertain. Objective: To summarize data on plasma or serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations in Latin America and the Caribbean reported since 1990, a period that covers the era before and after the introduction of folic acid fortification. Methods: A systematic review was conducted in 2012 and updated in 2014. Studies and surveys using biochemical biomarkers and conducted in apparently healthy individuals were identified. Results: Folate deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean appears not to be a public health problem (prevalence < 5%) after the introduction of folic acid fortification. However, there is some indication that high rates of low or marginal vitamin B12 status remain in most locations and across population groups. Conclusions: Adding vitamin B12 as a fortificant with folic acid may be the best strategy in areas where vitamin B12 deficiency is an established concern.

Technical Abstract: Background: The current magnitude of folate and vitamin B12 deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean is uncertain. Objective: To summarize data on plasma or serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations in Latin America and the Caribbean reported since 1990, a period that covers the era before and after the introduction of folic acid fortification. Methods: A systematic review was conducted in 2012 and updated in 2014. Studies and surveys using biochemical biomarkers and conducted in apparently healthy individuals were identified. Results: Folate deficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean appears not to be a public health problem (prevalence < 5%) after the introduction of folic acid fortification. However, there is some indication that high rates of low or marginal vitamin B12 status remain in most locations and across population groups. Conclusions: Adding vitamin B12 as a fortificant with folic acid may be the best strategy in areas where vitamin B12 deficiency is an established concern.