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Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Nov;46(5):835-9.

Folic acid: effect on zinc absorption in humans and in the rat.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The effect of folic acid on zinc absorption and utilization was studied in humans and in rats. Serum Zn response curves after a 25-mg oral dose of Zn was measured for 4 h with and without 10 mg folic acid. The increase in serum Zn expressed as AUC (area under the curve) was 57 mumol/L for Zn alone and 65 mumol/L with folate. Zn intragastric intubation experiments with rats showed that adding 4.4 or 176 micrograms of folate to test meals containing 13 micrograms Zn did not affect the bioavailability of Zn as measured by the retention of 65Zn by the liver and kidney. A 3-wk feeding test carried out with diets containing either 6 or 12 mg Zn/kg diet showed that adding either 2 or 160 mg of folic acid had no effect on growth or Zn uptake by the femur. These results do not indicate any inhibition of Zn utilization by folic acid.

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