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Table of Contents
Vol. 53, No. 2, 2008
Issue release date: November 2008
Section title: Original Paper
Ann Nutr Metab 2008;53:143–150
(DOI:10.1159/000170890)

Folate, Vitamin B12 and Homocysteine Status in Women of Childbearing Age: Baseline Data of Folic Acid Wheat Flour Fortification in Iran

Abdollahi Z.a · Elmadfa I.d · Djazayeri A.b · Sadeghian S.a · Freisling H.d · Salehi Mazandarani F.a · Mohamed K.c
aFamily Health Department, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, bDepartment of Nutrition and Biochemistry, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Science, and cDepartment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran; dDepartment of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: June 13, 2008
Accepted: August 27, 2008
Published online: November 10, 2008
Issue release date: November 2008

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 0250-6807 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9697 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ANM

Abstract

Background: Folic acid fortification implemented mandatorily in many countries has been associated with significant increase in blood folate concentrations and reduction in the prevalence of neural tube defects. However, there are controversial findings on the probability of vitamin B12 deficiency being masked in the population after folic acid fortification. Baseline data on folate and vitamin B12 status are necessary before mandatory flour fortification is implemented. Objectives: To assess dietary intake of folate and vitamin B12 and to determine blood concentrations of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine in women of childbearing age as baseline data regarding folic acid fortification in Iran. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was performed with 579 healthy women as a representative sample of the Golestan province. Fasting blood samples were taken and dietary (24-hour recall), health and sociodemographic data were collected with an interview. Serum concentrations of folate and vitamin B12 were measured with radioimmunoassay, and plasma homocysteine concentrations were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Results: Mean serum concentrations of folate and vitamin B12 were 13.6 nmol/l (95% CI 12.8–14.4) and 194.4 pmol/l (95% CI 183.8–205.0), respectively. Inadequate serum folate levels were present in 14.3% of the women and 22.7% had serum vitamin B12 levels below normal. Mean plasma homocysteine concentration was 12.6 µmol/l (95% CI 12.1–13.2) and hyperhomocysteinemia was observed in 38.3% of the women. Mean daily intake of folate and vitamin B12 was 198.3 µg (95% CI 185.4–211.3) and 2.6 µg (95% CI 1.9–3.2), respectively. Folate intake from food was positively correlated with serum folate concentrations (r = 0.084, p < 0.05) and inversely correlated with plasma homocysteine concentrations (r = –0.115, p < 0.01). Conclusions: An insufficient vitamin B12 as well as folate status is present in Iranian women of childbearing age. The final evaluation will be carried out 18 months after flour fortification and the results will be compared with baseline data obtained from the present study in order to show the efficacy and safety of folic acid fortification in Iran.

© 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: June 13, 2008
Accepted: August 27, 2008
Published online: November 10, 2008
Issue release date: November 2008

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 0250-6807 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9697 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ANM


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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