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Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2005 Mar;55(1):5-14.

[Folate and folic acid intake estimation and food enrichment requirements].

[Article in Spanish]

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Departamento de Tecnología de Alimentos, Nutrición y Bromatología, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo, Murcia, España.


The term "folate" is a generic way to name the different forms derived from folic acid, one of the B vitamins (specifically B9 vitamin). They are essential in the metabolism when they act as cofactors in the transfer reactions of one carbon. However, only plants and microorganisms are able to synthesize them de novo, in such a way that both animals and human beings have to intake them through their diet. Folic acid is widely spread in nature, mainly in vegetables, liver ans cereals. However, nowadays, the lack of folates in the diet is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world, and it has serious consequences on human health. There is evidence that even in developed countries folate intake is usually low; and even, is some cases, below optima levels. The authorities in several countries have adapted different norms related to folic acid, fortifying staple food such as dairy products or cereals, mandatory (U.S.A., Canada or Chile) or voluntary (most of the European countries).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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