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Higher Intake of B Vitamins Is Associated With Lower Risk of Childhood Obesity

Child obeseSeveral B vitamins play important roles in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and the health of mitochondria, which are involved in energy metabolism. Previous research has indicated that insufficient micronutrient intake can be a contributing factor in childhood obesity, but the results of research have been somewhat inconsistent.

In a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers examined the associations between serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations, and intakes of select B vitamins with body fat. Subjects included 1,131 Mexican American children 8-15 yrs. of age who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2004. Blood samples were analyzed for serum vitamin B12 and folate levels, and dietary questionnaire responses provided information concerning B vitamin intake. Dexa scans of fat mass and total body fat mass were used along with BMI as measures of body fat.

Body mass index, trunk fat mass and total body fat mass increased with age, but children with higher serum levels of B12 and folate had lower measures of BMI, trunk fat and total body fat. Children with normal weight had higher serum B12 levels compared to overweight or obese children. Analysis of B vitamin intake showed that children with higher intakes of thiamin (B1) and riboflavin (B2) were more likely to have a healthy BMI and lower body trunk fat mass.

The results of this study showing the inverse relationship between the status of B12, folate, riboflavin and thiamin suggest that these micronutrients may play a role in the risk reduction of childhood obesity.

Source:
Inong R Gunanti et al. J Nutr. 2014 Dec; 144(12):2027-33. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.201202.

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