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Vitamin B and disability

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Low serum concentrations of selenium and vitamins B6 and B12 predict an increased rate of disability in activities of daily living (ADLs), according to a Nov. 27 Archives of Internal Medicine study. ADLs include bathing, dressing and eating, according to the authors. Benedetta Bartarli, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY et al., conclude while the results suggest poor nutritional status contributes to the disablement process, "these results do not imply a beneficial effect of nutrient supplementation on the prevention of disability but rather suggest that nutritional status is one of the key factors to be considered." Women in the lowest quartile of serum concentrations of vitamin B6 (hazard ratio 1.31), vitamin B12 (HR 1.40) and selenium (HR 1.38) had "significantly higher risk of disability in ADLs" compared with women in the upper 3 quartiles, the researchers say. The longitudinal study included 643 women aged 65 or older enrolled in the Women's Health & Aging Study I. The women were assessed prospectively at six-month intervals from 1992 to 1995...

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