Scientists from Wuhan University of Science and Technology and elsewhere found that vitamin B levels are linked to lower obesity risk in middle-aged and older people.
B vitamins help a variety of enzymes do their jobs, ranging from releasing energy from carbohydrates and fat to breaking down amino acids and transporting oxygen and energy-containing nutrients around the body.
Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9, water-soluble, and naturally found in many foods. It is also added to foods and sold as a supplement in the form of folic acid.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is a water-soluble vitamin found naturally in many foods, as well as added to foods and supplements.
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is naturally found in animal foods. It can also be added to foods or supplements. Vitamin B12 is needed to form red blood cells and DNA.
Previous studies have found that obese people have lower levels of vitamin B, but most have focused on obesity as defined by body mass index (BMI).
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the link between vitamin B levels and obesity assessed by different definitions in Chinese middle-aged and older people.
They used data from 887 adults aged 45 years and older (45-82 years). The average age of all participants was 60.77 years.
The levels of vitamin B (B1, B2, B6, and B9) were measured for each participant. These people’s BMI, body fat, belly fat, and waist circumference were also tested.
The team found a link between vitamin B1 levels and a lower risk of obesity according to the criteria of body fat, belly fat, and waist circumference.
When using waist circumference and body fat percentage to define obesity, the team found higher vitamin B2 level was associated with lower a risk of obesity.
Vitamin B6 was associated with belly fat-defined and body fat percentage-defined obesity.
When using belly fat -defined and body fat percentage to define obesity, a negative link was found between vitamin B9 and obesity risk.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that vitamin B (B1, B2, B6, and B9) levels are linked to lower risks of obesity in Chinese middle-aged and older adults.
The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Yu Fu et al.
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