Publications

Vitamin B-6 intake is related to physical performance in European older adults : results of the New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of the Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe (NU-AGE) study

Grootswagers, Pol; Mensink, Marco; Berendsen, Agnes A.M.; Deen, Carolien P.J.; Kema, Ido P.; Bakker, Stephan J.L.; Santoro, Aurelia; Franceschi, Claudio; Meunier, Nathalie; Malpuech-Brugère, Corinne; Bialecka-Debek, Agata; Rolf, Katarzyna; Fairweather-Tait, Susan; Jennings, Amy; Feskens, Edith J.M.; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de

Summary

BACKGROUND: Maintenance of high physical performance during aging might be supported by an adequate dietary intake of niacin, vitamins B-6 and B-12, and folate because these B vitamins are involved in multiple processes related to muscle functioning. However, not much is known about the association between dietary intake of these B vitamins and physical performance. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to investigate the association between dietary intake of niacin, vitamins B-6 and B-12, and folate and physical performance in older adults and to explore mediation by niacin status and homocysteine concentrations. METHODS: We used baseline data from the New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of the Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe (NU-AGE) trial, which included n = 1249 healthy older adults (aged 65-79 y) with complete data on dietary intake measured with 7-d food records and questionnaires on vitamin supplement use and physical performance measured with the short physical performance battery and handgrip dynamometry. Associations were assessed by adjusted linear mixed models. RESULTS: Intake of vitamin B-6 was related to lower chair rise test time [β: -0.033 ± 0.016 s (log); P = 0.043]. Vitamin B-6 intake was also significantly associated with handgrip strength, but for this association, a significant interaction effect between vitamin B-6 intake and physical activity level was found. In participants with the lowest level of physical activity, higher intake of vitamin B-6 tended to be associated with greater handgrip strength (β: 1.5 ± 0.8 kg; P = 0.051), whereas in participants in the highest quartile of physical activity, higher intake was associated with lower handgrip strength (β: -1.4 ± 0.7 kg; P = 0.041). No evidence was found for an association between intake of niacin, vitamin B-12, or folate and physical performance or for mediation by niacin status or homocysteine concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin B-6 intake was associated with better chair rise test time in a population of European healthy older adults and also with greater handgrip strength in participants with low physical activity only. Homocysteine concentrations did not mediate these associations. The NU-AGE trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01754012.