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EFFECT OF A KLAMATH ALGAE PRODUCT ("AFA-B12") ON BLOOD LEVELS OF VITAMIN B12 AND HOMOCYSTEINE IN VEGAN SUBJECTS:
A PILOT STUDY

Luciana Baroni1, Stefano Scoglio2, Serena Benedetti3, Chiara Bonetto4, Silvia Pagliarani3, Yanina Benedetti2, Marco Rocchi5, and Franco Canestrari3

1Department of Neurorehabilitation, Villa Salus Hospital, Mestre-Venice, Italy; 2Nutritheapy Research Center, Urbino, Italy; 3Deaptment of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino "Cario Bo", Italy; 4Department of Medicine and Public Health, Universtiy of Verona, Italy; 5Department of Human, Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Urbino "Cario Bo", Italy.

Publisher: © Hogrefe & Huber Publishers

Abstract: Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient that is often inadequate in a plant-based (vegan) diet, thus the inclusion of a reliable vitamin B12 source in a vegan diet is recommended as essential. Unfortunately, many natural sources of vitamin B12 have been proven to contain biologically inactive vitamin B12 analogues, inadequate for human supplementation. The aim of this non-randomized open trial was to determine whether supplementation with a natural Klamath algae-based product ("AFA-B12", Aphanizomenon flos-aquae algae plus a proprietary mix of enzymes) could favorably affect the vitamin B12 status of a group of 15 vegan subjects. By assessing blood concentration of vitamin B12, folate, and more importantly homocysteine (Hcy, a reliable marker in vegans of their B12 absorption), the vitamin B12 status of the participants at the end of the 3-month intervention period, while receiving the Klamath-algae supplement (T2), was compared with their vitamin B12 status at the end of the 3-month control period (T1), when they were not receiving any supplement, having stopped taking their usual vitamin B12 supplement at the beginning of the study (T0). Compared to the control period, in the intervention period participants improved their vitamin B12 status, significantly reducing Hcy blood concentration (p=0.003). In conclusion, the Klamath algae product AFA-B12 appears to be, in a preliminary study, an adequate and reliable source of vitamin B12 in humans.

Citation: Baroni L, Scoglio S, Benedetti S, et al. Effect of a Klamath algae product ("AFA-B12") on blood levels of vitamin B12 and homocysteine in vegan subjects: a pilot study. Int. J. Vitam. Nutr. Res. 2009; 79 (2): 117-123.

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