Document Detail

Folic acid fortification: why not vitamin B12 also?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21674649     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Folic acid fortification of cereal grains was introduced in many countries to prevent neural tube defect occurrence. The metabolism of folic acid and vitamin B12 intersect during the transfer of the methyl group from 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to homocysteine catalyzed by B12-dependent methioine synthase. Regeneration of tetrahydrofolate via this reaction makes it available for synthesis of nucleotide precursors. Thus either folate or vitamin B12 deficiency can result in impaired cell division and anemia. Exposure to extra folic acid through fortification may be detrimental to those with vitamin B12 deficiency. Among participants of National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey with low vitamin B12 status, high serum folate (>59 nmol/L) was associated with higher prevalence of anemia and cognitive impairment when compared with normal serum folate. We also observed an increase in the plasma concentrations of total homocysteine and methylmalonic acid (MMA), two functional indicators of vitamin B12 status, with increase in plasma folate under low vitamin B12 status. These data strongly imply that high plasma folate is associated with the exacerbation of both the biochemical and clinical status of vitamin B12 deficiency. Hence any food fortification policy that includes folic acid should also include vitamin B12.
Jacob Selhub; Ligi Paul
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Review     Date:  2011-06-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  BioFactors (Oxford, England)     Volume:  37     ISSN:  1872-8081     ISO Abbreviation:  Biofactors     Publication Date:    2011 Jul-Aug
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-09-14     Completed Date:  2012-03-29     Revised Date:  2012-10-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8807441     Medline TA:  Biofactors     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  269-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Folic Acid / blood,  therapeutic use*
Food, Fortified
Nutrition Surveys
Vitamin B 12 / blood,  therapeutic use*
Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / blood
Reg. No./Substance:
59-30-3/Folic Acid; 68-19-9/Vitamin B 12

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