19 July 2018
Int J Med Sci 2005; 2(2):58-63. doi:10.7150/ijms.2.58
A folate-rich diet is as effective as folic acid from supplements in decreasing plasma homocysteine concentrations
1. Unitat de Lípids i Arteriosclerosi, Servei de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, IDIBELL, c/Feixa Llarga s/n, 08907 Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.
Background & Aims: At least 500 μg of folic acid are required daily to treat hyperhomocysteinemia. To reach this amount by dietary changes alone may be difficult because food has a low folic acid content and bioavailability. No studies have compared the effects of similar amounts of additional folate derived from a combination of folate-rich and fortified foods or folic acid from supplements on plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations, which was the aim of this study. Methods: Twenty male patients with hyperhomocysteinemia and coronary artery disease were included in a randomized, crossover intervention trial. Patients were treated daily with a combination of foods containing approximately 500 μg of folate or with one 500 μg capsule of synthetic folic acid over two five-week periods separated by a five-week wash-out period. Results: Plasma folate increased markedly (p<0.001) and plasma tHcy decreased (p<0.001) with both therapies. Folate-rich foods decreased tHcy by 8.6% (95% CI: –15.9 to –1.2) and synthetic folic acid capsules by 8% (95% CI: –13.3 to –2.7). Conclusions: This study shows, for the first time in the literature, that a folate-rich diet is as effective as folic acid capsules in decreasing plasma tHcy concentrations and adds further support to the recommendation of those diets to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: Folate, diet, folic acid, homocysteine.
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How to cite this article:
Pintó X, Vilaseca MA, Balcells S, Artuch R, Corbella E, Meco JF, Vila R, Pujol R, Grinberg D. A folate-rich diet is as effective as folic acid from supplements in decreasing plasma homocysteine concentrations. Int J Med Sci 2005; 2(2):58-63. doi:10.7150/ijms.2.58. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v02p0058.htm