Adequate vitamin B12 and riboflavin status from menus alone in residential care facilities in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia

Kyly C Whitfield, Liz da Silva, Fabio Feldman, Sonia Singh, Adrian McCann, Liadhan B McAnena, Mary Ward, Helene McNulty, Susan Barr, Tim Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Older adults have potential increased risk of nutrient deficiencies because of age-related decreased dietary intake and malabsorption; it is important to ensure nutrient needs are met to avoid adverse health outcomes. B vitamins are of particular interest: vitamin B 12 deficiency can cause irreversible neurodegeneration; there is mandatory folic acid fortification in Canada; and suboptimal riboflavin status has been reported among older adults in the United Kingdom. In this exploratory secondary analysis study we assessed vitamin B 12 and riboflavin biochemical status (via microparticle enzyme immunoassay and erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity coefficient (EGRac), respectively), and the vitamin B 12 , riboflavin, and folate content of menus served to a convenience sample of older adults (≥65 years) from 5 residential care facilities within the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Diet was assessed from customized 28-day cycle meal plans. Participants (n = 207; 53 men and 154 women) were aged 86 ± 7 years, largely of European descent (92%), and nonsmokers (95%). The menus served had a low prevalence of inadequacy for vitamin B 12 and riboflavin (only 4% and 1% of menus contained less than the estimated average requirement (EAR), respectively), but 93% contained less than the EAR for folate. Mean ± SD serum total vitamin B 12 concentration was 422 ± 209 pmol/L, and EGRac was 1.30 ± 0.19. The majority of older adults in residential care were provided with adequate vitamin B 12 and riboflavin menu amounts, and only 5% were vitamin B 12 deficient (<148 pmol/L). However, 26% were riboflavin deficient (EGRac ≥ 1.4), which may warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-419
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
Issue number4
Early online date24 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2019


  • vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
  • vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • older adults
  • residential care
  • menu assessment
  • folate


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