Tempe is a traditional and nutritious food of Indonesia which contains vitamin B12 and has become increasingly popular in recent time. It is important to conduct research on the potential of tempe as a source of vitamin B12 and its implementation to a vegetarian diet. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of tempe consumption as a source of vitamin B12 on level of serum vitamin B12 and serum homocysteine in healthy lacto-ovo-vegetarian. The research design is an experimental study, community trial with randomized control and double blind. The total sample was 118 lacto-ovo-vegetarians consisted of 42 subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency treated by vitamin B12 fortification. Cut-off point of vitamin B12 deficiency is below 156 pmol/L and hyperhomocysteinemia is above 12 μmol/L. Men and women aged above 17 years old were randomly assigned in this 3 months double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to consume tempe formula with average content of 5.9 µg vitamin B12 daily (n=38) or placebo (n=38). Vitamin B12 in tempe formula was analyzed by uv-vis spectrophotometer using microbial assay method. Serum vitamin B12 was measured by Electrochemiluminescent immunoassay method, serum homocysteine was measured by Microparticle enzyme immunoassay method. Serum vitamin B12 and serum homocysteine were analyzed before and after intervention, and after retention for 3 months without intervention. Prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in lacto-ovo-vegetarian is 35.6%. The average level of vitamin B12 in tempe formula “VEGAN 1” was 5.9 μg/100g. The cut-off point of vitamin B12 deficiency ranged from 4.5 to 9.5 years after becoming a lacto-ovo-vegetarian. Delta of serum vitamin B12 after intervention was -3.5 pmol/L in tempe group and -3.0 pmol/L in placebo (p = 0.954). Delta of serum vitamin B12 after retention for 3 months without intervention was +3.5 pmol/L in tempe group (p = 0.804) and -19.2 pmol/L in placebo group (p = 0.038). Statistical analysis showed a significant correlation (p < 0.05) between levels of serum vitamin B12 and serum homocysteine. Tempe formula was able to maintain normal level of serum vitamin B12 after retention for 3 months without intervention in lacto-ovo-vegetarian.
Key words: tempe, vitamin B12, homocysteine, vegetarian
Editor: Susianto Kusharisupeni
Received January 6, 2012; Accepted March 29, 2012; Published April 30, 2013
Copyright: 2013 Susianto et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Short running title: vitamin B12 and vegetarians
Corresponding address: Susianto Department of Public Health Nutrition, University of Indonesia, Kampus Baru Depok, Building F, 2nd Floor, FKM UI, West Java, Indonesia Phone: +62-21-7863501 Fax: +62-21-7863501 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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