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Folate in Human Health and Disease

Publication Date Oct 15, 2014

Abstract

Folate, a water-soluble B vitamin, and its synthetic form folic acid (FA) used in fortification and supplements, are critical to human health due to their role in one-carbon transfer reactions required for biological methylation and nucleotide biosynthesis. As such, folate deficiency has been linked to a variety of adverse health outcomes such as megaloblastic anaemia, neural tube defects, coronary heart disease and cancer among others. Corollary to this, FA supplementation has garnered a considerable amount of interest as an ideal functional food component for disease prevention. Although the benefits of FA supplementation in treatment of megaloblastic anaemia and in prevention of neural tube defects are well established, the effects of FA supplementation on other disease outcomes remain largely equivocal. In addition, an emerging body of evidence has raised concern regarding potentially serious adverse health effects of excessive FA intake, which warrant further studies. Key Concepts: Folate, a water-soluble B vitamin, and its synthetic form folic acid used in fortification and supplements, are critical to one-carbon transfer reactions required for DNA synthesis and biological methylation reactions. Dietary folate intake is the main source of folate for humans; inadequate dietary intake, impaired absorption or metabolism of folate, and increased folate demand and utilisation may result in deficiency. Folate deficiency has been associated with various adverse health effects including megalob...

Concepts
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Folic Acid Supplementation
Prevention Of Neural Tube Defects
Folic Acid
Neural Tube Defects
Biological Methylation Reactions
Megaloblastic Anaemia
Doses Of Folic Acid Supplementation
Form Folic Acid
Folate Deficiency
Rates Of Neural Tube Defects

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