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Environ Int. 2004 Aug;30(6):761-7.

Long-term variations of folic acid concentrations in the Northern Adriatic.

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Ruder Bosković Institute, Centre for Marine and Environmental Research, PO Box 180, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia.


Folic acid (FA), which belongs to B-group vitamins has recently been recognized as possible nutrient for some phytoplankton species (a diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum). The beneficial role of FA in human health is widely documented. In some countries food fortification with FA has already become mandatory. FA is also used under commercial name of Dosfolat for the treatment of industrial and domestic wastewaters. This is an exploratory study on seasonal and depth variability of FA concentrations in the Northern Adriatic Sea (station 101-max depth 30 m, under the Po River influence). Seawater samples were analysed in the period from February 1998 to February 2003 based on monthly determinations. Those preliminary findings showed that in the upper layer (10 m) FA concentrations were in the range from 0.1 to 28 nM. In the lower layer (20-30 m) FA concentrations were in the range from 0.1 to 12 nM. It was found that phytoplankton and microorganisms which are responsible for the production of FA in the Northern Adriatic (Station 101) were situated at the depth from 5 to 10 m. The observed water column and seasonal distributions depended on a sensitive balance between the production and the consumption of FA.

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