New research has identified a compelling link between vitamin B12 deficiency and chronic inflammation, which is linked to several health problems, including: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, etc. The research published in Journal of Food and Agriculture Scienceinvestigated how changes in B12 levels in the bloodstream affect key inflammatory markers in humans and mice.
Essential nutrients and health effects
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that has a role in a variety of physiological processes and is known to be important for overall health. Its deficiency may be the result of dietary deficiencies, especially in vegetarian and vegan people, or reduced absorption efficiency in the body. This can lead to a variety of complications, including neuropathy. Previous research has suggested potential anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin B12, but the exact relationship is not fully understood.
Now, a team of Spanish researchers investigated the effects of vitamin B12 on levels of two molecules in the body that promote inflammation, specifically interleukin (IL)-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP).
Rosa M. Ramuela-Raventos, co-corresponding author of the study and professor of nutrition, food science and gastronomy at INSA, University of Barcelona, and doctoral researcher at the University of Barcelona, co-first author of the paper Ines Dominguez López explained the motivation behind the study.
Research motivation and clinical relevance
“Chronic inflammation is associated with a wide range of diseases, so understanding how vitamin B12 status affects inflammation may have important implications for disease prevention and management.” IL -6 and CRP are widely recognized as important markers of inflammation in clinical practice, as increased levels of these markers are associated with various inflammatory conditions and chronic diseases. Establishing a relationship between inflammatory markers such as IL-6 and CRP [and vitamin B12 levels] It has direct clinical relevance and may open the door to new therapeutic strategies. ”
This study utilized a sample from a randomized subsection of participants in PREDIMED, a large Spanish-based clinical trial aimed at evaluating the effects of a Mediterranean diet on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. did. Assessing serum levels of vitamin B12 and concentrations of inflammatory markers revealed a correlation between the two.
“In our study, we found that, in general, people who had more vitamin B12 had lower inflammatory markers, which we call an inverse association,” says the Biomedical Research Institute (IRB Barcelona). explained Marta Kovacheva, a postdoctoral researcher at . Co-lead author of the study. “With regard to vitamin B12 deficiency, we must point out that this study did not specifically examine people with vitamin B12 deficiency. Nevertheless, our results raise several important questions. Although we already know that vitamin B12 deficiency is harmful in many ways, what we report here is a new connection. This may help us better understand why this happens.”
Dominguez-López says that validating study results in the general population requires “expanding the cohort, examining gender-specific differences (because men and women are often biologically different), and examining specific settings.” It will be important to investigate.” Human B12 deficiency, infectious diseases, aging, etc.
Observations in mouse models and future research directions
In this study, a similar relationship between vitamin B12 and inflammatory markers was observed in naturally aged mice, providing a valuable means of using a mouse model to delve deeper into the mechanisms underlying the inverse relationship. “This helps us understand the biology of this relationship that we observed and helps confirm future dietary and clinical recommendations,” Dr. Ramuela-Raventos explained. Did.
Surprisingly, the researchers noted that, unlike humans, mice do not become vitamin B12 deficient as they age. “Until now we didn’t know this, and the study in mice offers the possibility of helping us understand how B12 deficiency can be prevented in older people,” Kovacheva said.
The research team now wants to investigate the link between vitamin B12 and inflammation in the context of certain high-inflammatory conditions such as infections, obesity, and irritable bowel syndrome. “We already know that vitamin B12 deficiency is bad for people, and that dietary therapy is needed to correct it. Understanding whether vitamin B12 supplementation can play a role in managing the disease It would be interesting to do that,” Lamuera-Raventos said.
Reference: “Increased circulating vitamin B12 is associated with decreased levels of inflammatory markers in individuals at high cardiovascular risk and naturally aging mice” (Inés Domínguez-López, Marta Kovatcheva, Rosa Casas, Estefanía Toledo, Montserrat Fitó, Emilio Ros, Ramon Estruch), Manuel Serrano and Rosa M. Ramuela-Raventos, September 10, 2023. Journal of Food and Agriculture Science.