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Dutch diet contains too little folic acid

termine this they divided 180 healthy volunteers, aged 50 to 70 years, into three groups. Every day, the first group received a capsule containing a small quantity of monoglutamate folic acid, the second group a capsule containing polyglutamate folic acid and the third group a capsule containing a placebo. After 12 weeks, the researchers compared the concentrations of folic acid in the blood plasma and red blood cells. The increase in the concentration of folic acid in the polyglutamate group was only 66% of that in the monoglutamate group.

Using this data the researchers estimated the extent to which the poorly-absorbed form affected the overall absorption of folic acid. An example: a daily intake of 240 micrograms of folic acid contains 80 micrograms in the monoglutamate form and 160 micrograms in the polyglutamate form. Therefore, in total the blood absorbs 80 x 100% + 160 x 66% = 186 micrograms. This is about three-quarters of the original amount.

The researchers also established that in addition to the normal nutritional requirements, about 400 micrograms of folic acid per day is needed for an optimal reduction of the so-called homocysteine level. A high level of this substance is associated with cardiovascular diseases. However, it has yet to be demonstrated that a reduction in this level decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.


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Contact: Nalinie Moerlie
news@nwo.nl
31-70-344-0713
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
5-Sep-2003


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