Zinc Deficiency: The Association with Vitamin B12 in People of Different Ages

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Background: Zinc and vitamin B12 are the foremost important micronutrients. About a quarter of Iranian households have a zinc deficiency. Objectives: Considering the importance of these micronutrients, this study aimed to investigate the association between zinc deficiency and vitamin B12 in people of different ages who had their blood tested in the Pasteur laboratory in Ahvaz. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, serum levels of zinc and vitamin B12 were measured using atomic absorption spectrophotometry and electro-chemiluminescence, respectively. Then, samples were divided into normal and zinc-deficient groups based on serum zinc levels. Serum vitamin B12 levels were also compared between two defined groups. The correlation between age and both zinc and vitamin B12 were determined through statistical tests. Results: In 60.5% of samples, serum zinc was lower than in the normal group. However, the two groups had no statistically significant difference in zinc levels (P = 0.085). Findings showed that with increasing one year of age, serum zinc level decreases by 0.13 units, and serum level of vitamin B12 increases by 0.19 units. Although the serum level of vitamin B12 in the group with normal zinc levels was higher than in the zinc-deficient group, this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.743). Conclusions: Zinc and Vitamin B12 serum levels can have a clinically positive correlation, and zinc deficiency might be effective in manipulating vitamin B12 status in the body.