Document Detail

Intake and status of folate and related B-vitamins: considerations and challenges in achieving optimal status.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18598588     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Folate and the metabolically related B-vitamins, vitamin B12 and riboflavin, have attracted much scientific and public health interest in recent years. Apart from a well established role in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs), evidence is emerging to support other potential roles for folate and/or related B-vitamins in protecting against cardiovascular disease (especially stroke), certain cancers, cognitive impairment and osteoporosis. However, typical folate intakes are sub-optimal, in that although adequate in preventing clinical folate deficiency (i.e. megaloblastic anaemia) in most people, they are generally insufficient to achieve a folate status associated with the lowest risk of NTDs. Natural food folates have a limited ability to enhance folate status as a result of their poor stability under typical cooking conditions and incomplete bioavailability when compared with the synthetic vitamin, folic acid (as found in supplements and fortified foods). Current folate recommendations to prevent NTDs (based primarily on folic acid supplementation) have been found to be ineffective in several European countries. In contrast, in North America and Chile, the policy of mandatory folic acid-fortification has proven itself in terms of lowering the prevalence of NTD, but remains controversial because of concerns regarding potential risks of chronic exposure to high-dose folic acid. In the case of vitamin B12, the achievement of an optimal status is particularly difficult for many older people because of the common problem of food-bound B12 malabsorption. Finally, there is evidence that riboflavin status is generally low in the UK population, and particularly so in younger women; this warrants further investigation.
Helene McNulty; John M Scott
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The British journal of nutrition     Volume:  99 Suppl 3     ISSN:  1475-2662     ISO Abbreviation:  Br. J. Nutr.     Publication Date:  2008 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-07     Completed Date:  2008-09-26     Revised Date:  2009-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372547     Medline TA:  Br J Nutr     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  S48-54     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland.
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MeSH Terms
Biological Markers / blood
Dietary Supplements
Folic Acid / metabolism*
Homocysteine / blood
Middle Aged
Nutritional Requirements
Nutritional Status / physiology*
Riboflavin / metabolism
Vitamin B 12 / metabolism
Vitamin B 6 / metabolism
Vitamins / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Biological Markers; 0/Vitamins; 454-28-4/Homocysteine; 59-30-3/Folic Acid; 68-19-9/Vitamin B 12; 8059-24-3/Vitamin B 6; 83-88-5/Riboflavin

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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