Vitamin B12 deficiency in Indian children (Belgaum, Karnataka)

A small new study (Hugar et al. 2017) from Belgaum in Karnataka in southern India assessed the vitamin B12 blood levels in 42 healthy children (21 girls and 21 boys; age 10–14 years).

They found that ~67% of the children (boys and girls together) had vitamin B12 deficiency. About 76% of the boys (i.e. 16 out of 21) and 57% of the girls (i.e. 12 girls out of 21) were deficient in vitamin B12.   
52.4% of the boys and 19% of the girls followed a vegetarian diet, i.e. 35% of the children (girls and boys) were vegetarians. 

Vitamin B12 levels were assessed by “Centaur/Versace machine”. The cut-off level for vitamin B12 deficiency – for example <200 pg/mL vitamin B12 in blood – was not documented in the article.
The children with vitamin B12 deficiency had more caries and gingival disease than the children without vitamin B12 deficiency.
The authors state: “Supplementation with vitamin B12 will improve the gingival health and oral hygiene of children with deficiency, the present study was only a cross-sectional and the changes in the oral health could not be demonstrated, which will be further explored in further studies.”
The study was conducted by researchers at KLE University in Belgaum (Belagavi), Karnataka, India (Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry at the VK Institute of Dental Sciences & Department of Pediatrics at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College).
Hugar et al.: Assessment of Vitamin B12 and Its Correlation with Dental Caries and Gingival Diseases in 10- to 14-year-old Children: A Cross-sectional Study. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2017 Apr-Jun;10(2):142-146. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10005-1424. Epub 2017 Jun 1.