In the British Journal of Surgery, researchers report the benefits of supplementing with folic acid in patients with peripheral artery disease.*
In a double-blind trial, 133 peripheral artery disease patients were assigned to receive 400 micrograms folic acid, 400 micrograms
5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF, an active form of folate) or a placebo daily for 16 weeks.
Red blood cell and plasma folate increased in participants who received folic acid and 5-MTHF, and homocysteine was reduced compared to those in the placebo group. Brachial artery pressure index was also significantly improved in both the folic acid and 5-MTHF groups.
Due to the similarity in benefits observed in this study for 5-MTHF and folic acid, the authors conclude that the data “suggest that 5-MTHF may be a safe and effective alternative to folic acid.”