Effects of short-term folic acid and/or riboflavin supplementation on serum folate and plasma total homocysteine concentrations in young Japanese male subjects

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the effects of short-term folic acid and/or riboflavin supplementation on serum folate and plasma plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentrations in young Japanese male subjects.

Design:

In a double blind, randomized controlled trial.

Intervention:

Subjects were randomly assigned to one of four groups and received a placebo (control group), 800 μg/day folic acid (FA group), 8.4 mg/day riboflavin (R group), or both (FAR group) for 2 weeks.

Setting:

Tokyo, Japan.

Subjects:

In total, 32 healthy male volunteers aged 20-29 years.

Results:

At the end of the 2 week supplementation period, the tHcy concentration decreased significantly in the FA group. Serum folate concentrations had increased between 2.7 and 2.0-fold in the FA and FAR groups, respectively, but the mean within-group changes in serum folate and plasma tHcy concentrations did not differ between these two groups. At the end of the study, alanine amino transferase was decreased in the R and FAR groups, while alanine amino transferase was increased in the FA group.

Conclusion:

Supplementation with folic acid, 800 μg/day, for 2 weeks, increased the serum and red blood cell folate concentrations and decreased the plasma tHcy concentrations in healthy young male subjects. Riboflavin supplementation may have blunted the effect of folic acid, which resulted in a diminished reduction of tHcy in our subjects.

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