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J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2009 Apr;55(2):149-55.

Folate status in young overweight and obese women: changes associated with weight reduction and increased folate intake.

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Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.



To analyze folate status changes in a group of overweight/obese young women following two different weight control programs.


Fifty-seven women (BMI=24-35 kg/m(2)) were randomly assigned to one of two slightly hypocaloric diets: diet V, in which the consumption of vegetables was increased, or diet C, in which the consumption of cereals (especially breakfast cereals) was increased. Dietetic, anthropometric and biochemical data were collected at the start of the study and again at 6 wk.


At the beginning of the study, the obese women (BMI>or=30 kg/m(2)) were at greater risk of showing serum folic acid concentrations of <14.9 nmol/L, even though there were no differences in folate intake between them and the women with a lower BMI. Energy intake was reduced and folate intake increased with both the V and C diets. Weight was lost as a consequence of this lower energy intake. Serum folic acid concentration increased and the plasma homocysteine concentration diminished only in those who lost >2.5 kg; this was the case of the subjects as a whole and of those who followed the C diet. Among those who lost the most weight (>2.5 kg), the chances of having an increased serum folate concentration were higher, although no significant differences were seen in folate intake with respect to women who lost less weight.


Following a hypocaloric diet could lead to a better folate status through increased intake, but especially among those who lose the most body weight.

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