The effect of animal and plant proteins on vitamin B6 status in young adult vegetarians and nonvegetarians

Sue Joan Chang, Yi Chia Huang, Yu Ting Chiu

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The purpose of this study was to assess the vitamin B6 status of vegetarians and nonvegetarians, and to examine the effects of nutrient factors (protein and fiber) on various indices of vitamin B6 status. Thirty-seven vegetarians (28.9 ± 5.5 y) and 32 nonvegetarians (22.9 ± 1.6 y) participated in the study. The vegetarian group included 3 vegans, 18 lacto-vegetarians, and 16 lacto-ovo-vegetarians. These subjects had been following this diet practice for a mean of 5.6 years. There was no significant difference in total protein and vitamin B6 intake or the ratio of vitamin B6 to protein (mg/g) between vegetarian and nonvegetarians subjects. The mean total vitamin B6 intake (vegetarians: 0.94 ± 0.45 mg/d; nonvegetarians: 1.05 ± 0.45 mg/d) was lower than that of the new version of the Taiwan Dietary Reference Intakes. The vegetarian group showed significantly lower mean plasma pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) (58.5 ± 30.9 vs. 85.9 ± 35.2 nmol/L; p < 0.001) and urinary 4-pyridoxic acid (4-PA) levels (3.09 ± 5.37 vs. 3.54 ± 2.39 μmol/d; p < 0.05) than did the nonvegetarian group. Dietary protein, vitamin B6, or fiber intake was not related to any vitamin B6 status parameters in any individual or pooled groups. Our vegetarians consumed amounts of protein and fiber that were not very high; therefore, protein intake, the source of dietary protein (plant vs. animal), and dietary fiber had no effects on vitamin B6 status parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalNutritional Sciences Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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