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Appetite. 2013 Aug;67:114-8. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.04.004. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

Estimation of dietary folic acid intake in three generations of females in Southern Spain.

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Research Group Nutrition, Diet and Risk Assessment (AGR-255), Department Nutrition and Food Science, University of Granada, Campus of Cartuja s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain.


An adequate folic acid intake has been related to female fertility. The recommended intake of this vitamin was recently increased to 400μg/day, with an additional 200μg/day during pregnancy. The Mediterranean Diet includes sources of folate such as pulses, green-leaf vegetables, fruit, cereals, and dried fruits; other foods of interest are liver and blue fish. The objectives were to determine the foods that contribute most to folate intake and analyze the factors that influence their consumption by three generations in a female population (n=898; age, 10-75yrs) from Southern Spain: 230 adolescents (10-16yrs), 296 healthy pregnant women (19-45yrs), and 372 menopausal women (>45yrs). Participants completed a previously validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Over 90% of their folate intake was supplied by cereals, fruit, natural juice, pulses, and cooked and raw vegetables. The mean (SD) daily intake of folate was 288.27(63.64) μg. A higher Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) was significantly related to a greater folate intake. The daily folate intake was not significantly influenced by educational level, number of children, or place of residence (rural vs. urban). In logistic regression analysis, the factors related to an adequate folate intake (>2/3 of recommendations) were higher age, higher MDS, and lower BMI.

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