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Abstracts

Folic Acid: 14 Research Abstracts

HUMAN RESEARCH
1. J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Dec;18(6):582-90.
Intakes of vitamin C, vegetables and fruits: which schoolchildren are at risk?
Hampl JS, Taylor CA, Johnston CS.
USA.

This study of American schoolchildren’s vitamin C intake revealed that an extreme number of children have low vitamin C (less than 30mg/day) and low fruit and vegetable intakes. Children with higher intakes also had higher intakes of folate and B6, and had higher fruit juice, vegetable, and milk intake. The conclusion is that children with higher vitamin C had healthier diets than their low vitamin C counterparts. Parents should ensure children consume 5 servings of fruits and vegetables/daily.


HUMAN RESEARCH
2. Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 1999 Autumn;14(4):124-9.
Nutritional strategies in cardiovascular disease control: an update on vitamins and conditionally essential nutrients.
Kendler BS.
USA.

This review concludes that supplementing the diet with vitamins C, E, B6 and folate are conducive to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Current research validates the use of the above supplements as being effective in cardiovascular disease risk prevention as an effective adjunctive strategy for CVD control.


HUMAN RESEARCH
3. Circulation. 1997 Sep 16;96(6):1803-8.
Association between plasma total homocysteine and parental history of cardiovascular disease in children with familial hypercholesterolemia.
Tonstad S, Refsum H, Ueland PM.
Norway.

Children (91 boys and 64 girls) with family histories cardiovascular disease (CVD) were administered a lipid-lowering diet and their plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) was measured before and after. These children were compared to children who had no family history of CVD. The authors found that children with a family history of CVD had lower intakes of folate, vitamin C, and fruits and vegetables, lower serum folate and vitamin B12 and higher levels of homocysteine. The authors concluded that dietary education for those with a family history of CVD should include nutrients that affect homocysteine metabolism.


HUMAN RESEARCH
4. J Nutr. 2002 Nov;132(11 Suppl):3467S-3470S
Diet, obesity and reflux in the etiology of adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastric cardia in humans.
Mayne ST, Navarro SA.
USA

Risk factors for esophageal and gastric cancers were examined in case-control studies in USA and Sweden. Obesity and reflux disease are the predominant risk factors along with diets with high saturated fat and cholesterol content. However, foods high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, and folate were shown to reduce risk of these cancers. The authors call for studies to examine the interaction of the risk factors


HUMAN RESEARCH
5. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Oct;10(10):1055-62.
Nutrient intake and risk of subtypes of esophageal and gastric cancer.
Mayne ST, Risch HA, Dubrow R, Chow WH, Gammon MD, Vaughan TL, Farrow DC, Schoenberg JB, Stanford JL, Ahsan H, West AB, Rotterdam H, Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF Jr.
USA

Patients with four types of esophagus and gastric cancer and a control group were interviewed about their diets to determine the relationship between intake of vitamin C, B6, folate, beta-carotene and fiber and cancer risk. There was an inverse relationship between the intake of these vitamins and cancer risk. Supplementation of vitamin C was linked to a lower risk of gastric cancer.


HUMAN RESEARCH
6. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2001 Oct;10(10):1055-62.
Nutrient intake and risk of subtypes of esophageal and gastric cancer.
Mayne ST, Risch HA, Dubrow R, Chow WH, Gammon MD, Vaughan TL, Farrow DC, Schoenberg JB, Stanford JL, Ahsan H, West AB, Rotterdam H, Blot WJ, Fraumeni JF Jr.
USA

Patients with four types of esophagus and gastric cancer and a control group were interviewed about their diets to determine the relationship between intake of vitamin C, B6, folate, beta-carotene and fiber and cancer risk. There was an inverse relationship between the intake of these vitamins and cancer risk.


HUMAN RESEARCH
7. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun;77(6):1352-60.
Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) and health.
Powers HJ.
UK

The author reviews the literature on riboflavin nutrition. Riboflavin is found in milk and dairy products, meat and fish and certain fruit and vegetables, especially dark-green vegetables. Biochemical signs of depletion arise within only a few days of dietary deprivation. Poor riboflavin status in Western countries mainly affects the elderly and adolescents. However, requirements may be higher than previously thought or biochemical thresholds for deficiency are inappropriate. Poor riboflavin status interferes with iron handling, may be a risk factor for cancer, lowers homocysteine, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, may protects again ischemia reperfusion injury, and may reduce the metabolism of other B vitamins, especially folate and vitamin B-6.


HUMAN RESEARCH
8. Public Health Nutr. 2001 Oct;4(5A):1089-97.
The efficacy and safety of nutritional supplement use in a representative sample of adults in the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey.
Kiely M, Flynn A, Harrington KE, Robson PJ, O'Connor N, Hannon EM, O'Brien MM, Bell S, Strain JJ.
Ireland

This study set out to describe the current use of nutritional supplements and assess risk. Food and supplement intake data were collected in 1379 adults (662 male and 717 female) using a 7-day food diary. Twenty-three per cent of respondents regularly used nutritional supplements and twice as many women used supplements as men. The authors concluded that supplementation appears to be beneficial in promoting adequate intakes of some micronutrients, particularly iron and folate in women aged 18-50 years and vitamin A in men and there appears to be little risk involved.
PMID: 11820922


HUMAN RESEARCH
9. J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1834-40.
A multinutrient-fortified beverage enhances the nutritional status of children in Botswana.
Abrams SA, Mushi A, Hilmers DC, Griffin IJ, Davila P, Allen L.
USA/Botswana

The authors acknowledge that multinutrient-fortified foods and beverages may be useful in reducing micronutrient deficiencies, especially in developing countries. This study assessed a new fortified beverage in improving nutritional status of a group of 311 lower income urban school children, ages 6-11 years. The changes in mid-upper arm circumference, weight for age and total weight, ferritin, riboflavin and folate status were significantly better in the fortified group. The authors conclude that a micronutrient-fortified beverage may be beneficial as part of a comprehensive nutritional supplementation program in populations at risk for micronutrient deficiencies.
PMID: 12771326


HUMAN RESEARCH
10. Epilepsy Res. 2002 Oct;51(3):237-47.
The effect of B-vitamins on hyperhomocysteinemia in patients on antiepileptic drugs.
Apeland T, Mansoor MA, Pentieva K, McNulty H, Seljeflot I, Strandjord RE.
Norway

The authors acknowledge that patients on antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) may have elevated levels of plasma total homocysteine (p-tHcy). This study was designed to assess the effect of B-vitamin supplementation on the levels of p-tHcy and markers of endothelial activation and lipid peroxidation. A total of 33 adult patients were recruited and supplemented with B-vitamins for 30 days: folic acid 0.4 mg, pyridoxine 120 mg and riboflavin 75 mg per day. The authors concluded that the combined supplementation with folic acid, pyridoxine and riboflavin reduced fasting and PML hyperhomocysteinemia in patients on AEDs. They also note that B-vitamin supplementation influenced endothelial activation, although the clinical implication is uncertain.
PMID: 12399074

HUMAN RESEARCH
11. Nutr Hosp. 2002 Nov-Dec;17(6):290-5.
Anthropometric assessment and vitamin intake by a group of elderly institucionalized individuals in the province of Leon (Spain)
Villarino Rodriguez A, Garcia-Linares Mdel C, Garcia-Arias MT, Garcia-Fernandez Mdel C.
Spain

This is a survey of nutritional deficiencies of micronutrients in 124 elderly persons (60 males and 64 females), aged between 65 and 98, who were living in five old age institutions.

Inadequate levels of folic acid, vitamin A, riboflavin and vitamin B12 were found in important segments of this population. Even lower results were found in vitamin B6, vitamin D and vitamin E). Compared to recommended values the results were: (93.5% vs 67.8% for vitamin B6, 84.5% vs 84.6% for vitamin D, and 88.3% vs 92.2% for vitamin E, for men and women, respectively).
PMID: 12514922

HUMAN RESEARCH
12. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000 Sep;36(3):758-65.
Effect of folic acid and antioxidant vitamins on endothelial dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease.
Title LM, Cummings PM, Giddens K, Genest JJ Jr, Nassar BA.
Canada

High homocysteine levels in the blood can contribute to atherosclerosis by damaging blood vessels. In this double-blind placebo controlled study, folic acid, folic acid plus antioxidants (vitamins C and E) or placebo was administered to 75 patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Folic acid increased plasma folate by 475%, improved flow-mediated dilation (FMD), and reduced homocysteine in the blood. Folic acid plus antioxidants had similar positive results.

HUMAN RESEARCH
13. Atherosclerosis. 1989 Jan;75(1):1-6.
Reduction of plasma lipid and homocysteine levels by pyridoxine, folate, cobalamin, choline, riboflavin, and troxerutin in atherosclerosis.
Olszewski AJ, Szostak WB, Bialkowska M, Rudnicki S, McCully KS.
USA

The level of homocysteine was correlated with nutrient treatment in 12 male survivors of acute myocardial infarction. They were given pyridoxine, folate, cobalamin, choline, riboflavin, and troxerutin for 21 days. The plasma concentrations of homocysteine and alpha-amino adipic acid declined to 68% and 57% of the pretreatment values, and the cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL apo B declined to 79%, 68%, and 63% of the pretreatment values, respectively. The authors conclude that their results suggest a new strategy for treating the metabolic abnormalities in atherosclerosis through the use of naturally occurring, non-toxic nutrients which minimize homocysteine accumulation.
PMID: 2930611


HUMAN RESEARCH
14. Arch Ophthalmol. 2001 Jul;119(7):1009-19.
Long-term nutrient intake and early age-related nuclear lens opacities.
Jacques PF, Chylack LT Jr, Hankinson SE, Khu PM, Rogers G, Friend J, Tung W, Wolfe JK, Padhye N, Willett WC, Taylor A.
USA.

Nuclear lens opacities, associated with the development of cataracts were measured in 478 nondiabetic women aged 53-73. Information about nutrition and vitamin supplementation was gathered over 13-15 years of the study. The finding indicated that those with the highest nutrient rating (vitamin C, vitamin E, riboflavin, folate, beta-carotene) had the lowest incidence of nuclear opacities.