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Am J Public Health. 2006 Nov;96(11):2040-7. Epub 2006 Oct 3.

Population-level changes in folate intake by age, gender, and race/ethnicity after folic acid fortification.

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  • 1Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We sought to quantify the impact of the 1998 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) folic acid fortification policy by estimating folate intake at the population level.

METHODS:

We analyzed total folate intake levels (from food and supplements) according to gender, age, and race/ethnicity, using data from 2 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. We measured pre- and postfortification folate intake distributions, adjusted for measurement error, and examined proportions of the population who reached certain thresholds of daily total folate intake.

RESULTS:

Mean daily food and total folate intake increased by approximately 100 microg/day after fortification. The proportion of women aged 15-44 years who consume more than 400 microg/day of folate has increased since fortification, but has not yet reached the FDA's 50% target and varies by race/ethnicity from 23% to 33%. Among persons aged 65 years and older who may be at risk for masking a vita-microg/day (the min B12 deficiency, the percentage who consume more than 1000 "tolerable upper intake level") has at least doubled among Whites and Black men, but has remained less than 5% for all groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Since fortification, folic acid intake among the US population has increased, and there are substantial variations by age, gender, and race/ethnicity.

PMID:
17018833
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1751812
Free PMC Article

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