2010 Volume 56 Issue 1 Pages 19-26
Recent studies showed that the urinary excretion of the water-soluble vitamins can be useful as a nutritional index. To determine how fasting affects urinary excretion of water-soluble vitamins, a human study and an animal experiment were conducted. In the human study, the 24-h urinary excretion of water-soluble vitamins in 12 healthy Japanese adults fasting for a day was measured. One-day fasting drastically decreased urinary thiamin content to 30%, and increased urinary riboflavin content by 3-fold. Other water-soluble vitamin contents did not show significant change by fasting. To further investigate the alterations of water-soluble vitamin status by starvation, rats were starved for 3 d, and water-soluble vitamin contents in the liver, blood and urine were measured during starvation. Urinary excretion of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 metabolite 4-pyridoxic acid, nicotinamide metabolites and folate decreased during starvation, but that of vitamin B12, pantothenic acid and biotin did not. As for blood vitamin levels, only blood vitamin B1, plasma PLP and plasma folate levels decreased with starvation. All water-soluble vitamin contents in the liver decreased during starvation, whereas vitamin concentrations in the liver did not decrease. Starvation decreased only concentrations of vitamin B12 and folate in the skeletal muscle. These results suggest that water-soluble vitamins were released from the liver, and supplied to the peripheral tissues to maintain vitamin nutrition. Our human study also suggested that the effect of fasting should be taken into consideration for subjects showing low urinary thiamin and high urinary riboflavin.