Researchers recommend that older individuals are periodically assessed for vitamin B12 deficiency as there may be a link between low vitamin B 12 levels and sarcopenia and dynapenia

In September 2017 researchers from Turkey published the results of their study to assess the association between vitamin B12 deficiency and sarcopenia (an age related, involuntary loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength) and dynapenia (age-associated loss of muscle strength that is not caused by neurologic or muscular diseases). 403 patients (24.8% sarcopenia; 32% dynapenia) were included in the study and their skeletal muscle mass, walking speed and hand grip strength were recorded.  Results showed that 32% of individuals with sarcopenia and 35% of individuals with dynapenia had low vitamin B12 levels (under 400pg/mL). In addition, lean body mass, total skeletal mass and skeletal muscle mass index were lower in the patients with low vitamin B12 levels when compared to those with higher levels of vitamin B12.  The researchers therefore concluded that sarcopenia and dynapenia may be related to vitamin B12 deficiency, and recommended that older individuals should be periodically assessed for vitamin B12 deficiency in view of the potential negative clinical outcomes which result from these conditions.

Bulut EA et al. Vitamin B12 deficiency might be related to sarcopenia in older adults. Exp Gerontol. 2017 Sep;95:136-140

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