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 McAnena, Mary Ward, Helene McNulty, Susan I. Barr, Tim J. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


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 B12 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 B12 and riboflavin biochemical status (via microparticle enzyme immunoassay and erythrocyte glutathione reductase activity coefficient (EGRac), respectively), and the vitamin B12, 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 B12 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 B12 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 B12 and riboflavin menu amounts, and only 5% were vitamin B12 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
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Apr 2019


  • Folate
  • Menu assessment
  • Older adults
  • Residential care
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B)
  • Vitamin B (cobalamin)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this