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Nutrients. 2011 Jan;3(1):49-62. doi: 10.3390/nu3010049. Epub 2011 Jan 10.

Folate status of reproductive age women and neural tube defect risk: the effect of long-term folic acid supplementation at doses of 140 µg and 400 µg per day.

Author information

1
Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand. hurni473@student.otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Primary prevention of most folate-responsive neural tube defects (NTDs) may not require 400 μg folic acid/day but may be achieved by attaining a high maternal folate status. Using RBC folate ≥906 nmol/L as a marker for NTD risk reduction, the study aimed to determine the change in blood folate concentrations in reproductive age women in response to long-term folic acid supplementation at 400 µg/day and 140 µg/day (dose designed to mimic the average daily folic acid intake received from New Zealand's proposed mandatory bread fortification program). Participants were randomly assigned to a daily folic acid supplement of 140 µg (n = 49), 400 µg (n = 48) or placebo (n = 47) for 40 weeks. RBC folate concentrations were measured at baseline, and after 6, 12, 29 and 40 weeks. At 40 weeks, the overall prevalence of having a RBC folate <906 nmol/L decreased to 18% and 35% in the 400 µg and 140 µg groups, respectively, while remaining relatively unchanged at 58% in the placebo group. After 40 weeks, there was no evidence of a difference in RBC folate between the two treatment groups (P = 0.340), nor was there evidence of a difference in the odds of a RBC folate <906 nmol/L (P = 0.078). In conclusion, the average daily intake of folic acid received from the proposed fortification program would increase RBC folate concentrations in reproductive age women to levels associated with a low risk of NTDs.

KEYWORDS:

neural tube defects; blood folate status; folic acid fortification; supplementation

PMID:
22254076
PMCID:
PMC3257734
DOI:
10.3390/nu3010049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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