Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Vaish S.;White M.;Daly L.;Molloy A.;Staines A.;Sweeney M.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Synthetic folic acid intakes and status in children living in Ireland exposed to voluntary fortification
4 ()
Optional Fields
Children Ireland Unmetabolized folic acid Voluntary folic acid fortification
© 2016 American Society for Nutrition. Background: In the context of mandatory and voluntary folic acid fortification, the exposure of children to folic acid has been a focus of concern, particularly regarding the possibility of whether any potentially adverse effects will emerge in the future. Objective: We explored concentrations of fasting unmetabolized folic acid (UFA) in the circulation of children living in Ireland who were exposed to the voluntary folic acid-fortification regimen in place in Ireland. Design: Healthy children who were attending Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, for routine minor surgery were recruited to provide a fasting 3-mL blood sample that was taken while a general anesthetic was administered. The samples were analyzed for plasma folate, red blood cell folate, and UFA concentrations. A short dietary questionnaire that captured recent and habitual intakes of folic acid, both as supplements and as fortified foods, was completed face to face with parents. Results: We collected fasting samples (n = 68) and completed questionnaires that captured recent and habitual daily folic acid intakes of children grouped as follows: 0-5 y of age: 6 girls and 21 boys (27 children total); 6-10 y of age: 10 girls and 10 boys (20 children total); and 11-16 y of age: 10 girls and 11 boys (21 children total). UFA was detected in 10.3% of the samples tested (range: 0.5-1.3 nmol/L). Mean plasma folate and red blood cell folate concentrations were 35.1 nmol/L (range: 21-47 nmol/L) and 956 nmol/L (range: 305-2319 nmol/L), respectively. Mean daily intake of folic acid from fortified foods and supplements was 109 mg (range: 0-767 μg). Conclusions: We showed that there was UFA in the plasma of just >10% of the children sampled after an overnight fast. These findings should be considered by policy makers who are responsible for folic acid fortification.
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