Intake and status of folate and related B-vitamins: considerations and challenges in achieving optimal status

Helene McNulty, John M. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Folate and the metabolically related B-vitamins, vitamin B-12 and riboflavin, have attracted much scientific and public health interest in recent years. Apart from a well established role in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs), evidence is emerging to support other potential roles for folate and/or related 13-vitamins in protecting against cardiovascular disease (especially stroke), certain cancers, cognitive impairment and osteoporosis. However, typical folate intakes are sub-optimal, in that although adequate in preventing clinical folate deficiency (i.e. megaloblastic anaemia) in most people, they are generally insufficient to achieve a folate status associated with the lowest risk of NTDs. Natural food folates have a limited ability to enhance folate status as a result of their poor stability under typical cooking conditions and incomplete bioavailability when compared with the synthetic vitamin, folic acid (as found in supplements and fortified foods). Current folate recommendations to prevent NTDs (based primarily on folic acid supplementation) have been found to be ineffective in several European countries. In contrast, in North America and Chile, the policy of mandatory folic acid-fortification has proven itself in terms of lowering the prevalence of NTD, but remains controversial because of concerns regarding potential risks of chronic exposure to high-dose folic acid. In the case of vitamin B-12, the achievement of an optimal status is particularly difficult for many older people because of the common problem of food-bound B-12 malabsorption. Finally, there is evidence that riboflavin status is generally low in the UK population, and particularly so in younger women; this warrants further investigation.
LanguageEnglish
PagesS48-S54
JournalBRITISH JOURNAL OF NUTRITION
Volume99
Issue numberSuppl.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Fingerprint

Vitamin B Complex
Folic Acid
Neural Tube Defects
Riboflavin
Vitamin B 12
Vitamins
Fortified Food
Megaloblastic Anemia
Food
Aptitude
Chile
Cooking
North America
Biological Availability
Osteoporosis
Cardiovascular Diseases
Public Health

Cite this

@article{a86d89055cf04d0bb873b6a301a63f67,
title = "Intake and status of folate and related B-vitamins: considerations and challenges in achieving optimal status",
abstract = "Folate and the metabolically related B-vitamins, vitamin B-12 and riboflavin, have attracted much scientific and public health interest in recent years. Apart from a well established role in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs), evidence is emerging to support other potential roles for folate and/or related 13-vitamins in protecting against cardiovascular disease (especially stroke), certain cancers, cognitive impairment and osteoporosis. However, typical folate intakes are sub-optimal, in that although adequate in preventing clinical folate deficiency (i.e. megaloblastic anaemia) in most people, they are generally insufficient to achieve a folate status associated with the lowest risk of NTDs. Natural food folates have a limited ability to enhance folate status as a result of their poor stability under typical cooking conditions and incomplete bioavailability when compared with the synthetic vitamin, folic acid (as found in supplements and fortified foods). Current folate recommendations to prevent NTDs (based primarily on folic acid supplementation) have been found to be ineffective in several European countries. In contrast, in North America and Chile, the policy of mandatory folic acid-fortification has proven itself in terms of lowering the prevalence of NTD, but remains controversial because of concerns regarding potential risks of chronic exposure to high-dose folic acid. In the case of vitamin B-12, the achievement of an optimal status is particularly difficult for many older people because of the common problem of food-bound B-12 malabsorption. Finally, there is evidence that riboflavin status is generally low in the UK population, and particularly so in younger women; this warrants further investigation.",
author = "Helene McNulty and Scott, {John M.}",
note = "EURRECA Workshop and Working Party on New Approaches for Measuring Micronutrient Status, Norwich, ENGLAND, FEB 18-20, 2008",
year = "2008",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1017/S0007114508006855",
language = "English",
volume = "99",
pages = "S48--S54",
journal = "British Journal of Nutrition",
issn = "0007-1145",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "Suppl.",

}

Intake and status of folate and related B-vitamins: considerations and challenges in achieving optimal status. / McNulty, Helene; Scott, John M.

In: BRITISH JOURNAL OF NUTRITION, Vol. 99, No. Suppl., 06.2008, p. S48-S54.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Intake and status of folate and related B-vitamins: considerations and challenges in achieving optimal status

AU - McNulty, Helene

AU - Scott, John M.

N1 - EURRECA Workshop and Working Party on New Approaches for Measuring Micronutrient Status, Norwich, ENGLAND, FEB 18-20, 2008

PY - 2008/6

Y1 - 2008/6

N2 - Folate and the metabolically related B-vitamins, vitamin B-12 and riboflavin, have attracted much scientific and public health interest in recent years. Apart from a well established role in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs), evidence is emerging to support other potential roles for folate and/or related 13-vitamins in protecting against cardiovascular disease (especially stroke), certain cancers, cognitive impairment and osteoporosis. However, typical folate intakes are sub-optimal, in that although adequate in preventing clinical folate deficiency (i.e. megaloblastic anaemia) in most people, they are generally insufficient to achieve a folate status associated with the lowest risk of NTDs. Natural food folates have a limited ability to enhance folate status as a result of their poor stability under typical cooking conditions and incomplete bioavailability when compared with the synthetic vitamin, folic acid (as found in supplements and fortified foods). Current folate recommendations to prevent NTDs (based primarily on folic acid supplementation) have been found to be ineffective in several European countries. In contrast, in North America and Chile, the policy of mandatory folic acid-fortification has proven itself in terms of lowering the prevalence of NTD, but remains controversial because of concerns regarding potential risks of chronic exposure to high-dose folic acid. In the case of vitamin B-12, the achievement of an optimal status is particularly difficult for many older people because of the common problem of food-bound B-12 malabsorption. Finally, there is evidence that riboflavin status is generally low in the UK population, and particularly so in younger women; this warrants further investigation.

AB - Folate and the metabolically related B-vitamins, vitamin B-12 and riboflavin, have attracted much scientific and public health interest in recent years. Apart from a well established role in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs), evidence is emerging to support other potential roles for folate and/or related 13-vitamins in protecting against cardiovascular disease (especially stroke), certain cancers, cognitive impairment and osteoporosis. However, typical folate intakes are sub-optimal, in that although adequate in preventing clinical folate deficiency (i.e. megaloblastic anaemia) in most people, they are generally insufficient to achieve a folate status associated with the lowest risk of NTDs. Natural food folates have a limited ability to enhance folate status as a result of their poor stability under typical cooking conditions and incomplete bioavailability when compared with the synthetic vitamin, folic acid (as found in supplements and fortified foods). Current folate recommendations to prevent NTDs (based primarily on folic acid supplementation) have been found to be ineffective in several European countries. In contrast, in North America and Chile, the policy of mandatory folic acid-fortification has proven itself in terms of lowering the prevalence of NTD, but remains controversial because of concerns regarding potential risks of chronic exposure to high-dose folic acid. In the case of vitamin B-12, the achievement of an optimal status is particularly difficult for many older people because of the common problem of food-bound B-12 malabsorption. Finally, there is evidence that riboflavin status is generally low in the UK population, and particularly so in younger women; this warrants further investigation.

U2 - 10.1017/S0007114508006855

DO - 10.1017/S0007114508006855

M3 - Article

VL - 99

SP - S48-S54

JO - British Journal of Nutrition

T2 - British Journal of Nutrition

JF - British Journal of Nutrition

SN - 0007-1145

IS - Suppl.

ER -