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Nutr Res Pract. 2018 Feb;12(1):47-51. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2018.12.1.47. Epub 2018 Jan 11.

Folate food source, usual intake, and folate status in Korean adults.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Songwon University, Gwangju 61756, Korea.
Department of Food and Nutrition, Duksung Women's University, 33 Samyangro, 114 Gill, Dobonggu, Seoul 01369, Korea.



The purposes of the study were to investigate folate intakes and plasma folate concentrations as well as estimate folate status in Korean healthy adults.


A total of 254 healthy 19- to 64-year-old adults (68 men and 186 women) living in Seoul metropolitan area, Gumi, and Kwangju, Korea participated. Three consecutive 24-hour dietary recalls, information on folate supplementation, and fasting blood samples were collected from the subjects.


The mean dietary folate intakes were 587.4 and 499.2 µg dietary folate equivalent (DFE)/day for men and women, respectively. The median dietary intakes of men and women were 566.6 and 474.6 µg DFE/day, respectively. Forty subjects (16.7% of total) less total folate than the estimated average requirement (EAR). Folate intakes of 23.3% of men and 34.8% of women aged 19-29 years did not meet the EAR for folate. Major food sources consumed for dietary folate were baechukimchi (Chinese cabbage kimchi), rice, spinach, eggs, and laver, which provided 44% of dietary folate intake for the subjects. Plasma folate concentrations were 23.4 nmol/L for men and 28.3 nmol/L for women, and this level was significantly lower in men than in women. Approximately 13% of men and 3% of women were folate-deficient, and the percentages of subjects showing folate concentrations lower than 10 nmol/L were 27.9% of men and 6.4% of women.


Folate intakes of Korean adults in this study were generally adequate. However, one-third of young adults had inadequate folate intakes.


Folate; dietary reference intake; folic acid; nutritional status

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