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Nutrition. 2005 Mar;21(3):406-10.

Effect of folic acid supplementation on aluminum accumulation in rats.

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Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Hacettepe, Ankara, Turkey.



Exposure to many xenobiotics may cause depletion of folic acid (folate), which is an essential vitamin for humans. Replacement of folate can be effective in protection against some diseases and in partial or total prevention of adverse effects related to xenobiotics. Aluminum (Al) is the most widely distributed metal in the outer crust of the earth. Its toxicity in humans is well known. However, there is no evidence that folate can decrease accumulation of Al to which humans can be exposed in many ways. The aim of the present study was to quantify organ Al accumulation and to evaluate whether there is any protective (or reductive) effect of folic acid on Al accumulation.


Male Wistar rats were assigned oral Al chloride (200 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1), n = 10, group 1) alone or in combination with folic acid (20 mg x kg(-1) x d(-1), n = 10, group 2) for 8 wk. At the end of the period, bone, kidney, brain, and blood samples were collected, and Al concentrations were determined by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry.


Mean values of Al in the tissue samples from group 1 were higher than those from group 2 (all P < 0.05). No difference was observed in serum Al levels between groups (P > 0.05).


These results suggest that folate supplementation might be useful to decrease Al accumulation in its main target organs, i.e., bone, kidney, and brain.

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