Changes in Measurement Procedure from a Radioassay to a Microbiologic Assay Necessitate Adjustment of Serum and RBC Folate Concentrations in the US Population from the NHANES 1988-2010

National Center for Environmental Health, CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Journal of Nutrition (Impact Factor: 4.23). 03/2012; 142(5):894-900. DOI: 10.3945/jn.111.156901
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The NHANES measured serum and RBC folate concentrations by using a radioassay during prefortification (1988-1994) and postfortification (1999-2006) periods followed by the use of a microbiologic assay (MBA) from 2007-2010. The MBA produces higher concentrations than does the radioassay and is considered to be more accurate. To allow for accurate long-term trending (1988-2010), we evaluated different regression models (linear, piecewise linear, and fractional polynomial) to assay-adjust the radioassay results to be comparable to the MBA results. The data used to derive the regression models originated from 2 crossover studies in which the 2 assays were applied to a set of 325 serum and 171 whole-blood samples. Fractional polynomial regression of logarithmically transformed data provided the best fit for serum folate. Linear regression of logarithmically transformed whole-blood data provided an equally good fit compared with the other models and was the simplest to apply for RBC folate. Prefortification serum and RBC folate geometric mean concentrations increased after adjustment from 13.0 to 16.7 nmol/L and from 403 to 747 nmol/L, respectively. Postfortification serum folate concentrations increased from ~30 to ~43 nmol/L, and RBC folate concentrations increased from ~600 to ~1100 nmol/L after adjustment, with some variation across survey cycles. The presented regression equations allow the estimation of more accurate prevalence estimates and long-term trends in blood folate concentrations in the U.S. population by using results that are equivalent to the MBA. This information will be useful to public health officials in the United States who are dealing with folic acid fortification issues.


Available from: Ramón Angel Durazo-Arvizu, Jul 07, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ireland has traditionally operated a liberal policy of voluntary fortification, but little is known about how this practice, along with supplement use, affects population intakes and status of folate and vitamin B-12. The aim was to examine the relative impact of voluntary fortification and supplement use on dietary intakes and biomarker status of folate and vitamin B-12 in Irish adults. Folic acid and vitamin B-12 from fortified foods and supplements were estimated by using brand information for participants from the cross-sectional National Adult Nutrition Survey 2008-2010. Dietary and biomarker values were compared between 6 mutually exclusive consumption groups formed on the basis of folic acid intake. The consumption of folic acid through fortified foods at low, medium, and high levels of exposure [median (IQR) intakes of 22 (13, 32), 69 (56, 84), and 180 (137, 248) μg/d, respectively]; from supplements [203 (150, 400) μg/d]; or from both sources [287 (220, 438) μg/d] was associated with significantly higher folate intakes and status compared with nonconsumption of folic acid (18% of the population). Median (IQR) red blood cell (RBC) folate increased significantly from 699 (538, 934) nmol/L in nonconsumers to 1040 (83, 1390) nmol/L in consumers with a high intake of fortified foods (P < 0.001), with further nonsignificant increases in supplement users. Supplement use but not fortification was associated with significantly higher serum vitamin B-12 concentrations relative to nonconsumers (P < 0.001). Two-thirds of young women had suboptimal RBC folate for protection against neural tube defects (NTDs); among nonconsumers of folic acid, only 16% attained optimal RBC folate. The consumption of voluntarily fortified foods and/or supplement use was associated with significantly higher dietary intakes and biomarker status of folate in Irish adults. Of concern, the majority of young women remain suboptimally protected against NTDs. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 04/2015; DOI:10.3945/ajcn.115.107151 · 6.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: National data on the blood folate status of New Zealand adults is lacking. The objective of this study was to describe the blood folate status and examine the predictors of blood folate status in a national sample of adults from New Zealand, a country with voluntary folic acid fortification. The 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey was a nationwide multistage systematic random cross-sectional survey. Serum and erythrocyte folate concentrations were measured by microbiologic assay. The survey included 4721 participants aged ≥15 y, 3359 of whom provided a nonfasting blood sample. Biochemical folate status was measured in 3277 participants. The median serum and erythrocyte folate concentrations were 23 and 809 nmol/L, respectively. The prevalence of biochemical folate deficiency, defined as plasma folate <6.8 nmol/L or erythrocyte folate <305 nmol/L, was 2%. Having breakfast daily compared with never eating breakfast was associated with 53% higher serum and 25% higher erythrocyte folate concentrations; consumers of fortified yeast extract spread had 17% higher serum and 14% higher erythrocyte folate concentrations than nonconsumers; daily users of folate-containing supplements compared with nonusers had 48% higher serum and 28% higher erythrocyte folate concentrations. The prevalence of biochemical folate deficiency in New Zealand adults is low. Participants who ate breakfast more frequently, consumed folate-fortified yeast, or used a daily folate supplement had higher blood folate concentrations.
    Journal of Nutrition 10/2013; 144(1). DOI:10.3945/jn.113.182105 · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Evidence is accumulating regarding a role of micronutrients in folate metabolism in cancer risk. We investigated the associations of plasma folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine with upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers in a population-based case-control study in Taixing City, China. With informed consent, we recruited cases with cancers of esophagus (n = 218), stomach (n = 206), and liver (n = 204), and one common healthy control group (n = 405). A standardized epidemiologic questionnaire was used in face-to-face interviews, and blood samples were collected during interviews. We observed an inverse association between plasma folate levels and liver cancer. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 0.46 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.24–0.88] comparing individuals in the highest quartile to those in the lowest. We found a positive association between plasma vitamin B12 levels and all three cancers. The aORs for those in the highest quartile were 2.80 (95% CI = 1.51–5.18) for esophageal cancer, 2.17 (1.21–3.89) for stomach cancer, and 9.97 (4.82–20.60) for liver cancer, comparing to those in the lowest quartile. We further observed interaction between plasma folate and vitamin B12 on these cancers. Our data indicated associations between plasma folate and vitamin B12 with upper GI cancers in Chinese population. Further research is warranted considering the debate over the necessity of food fortification.
    Nutrition and Cancer 01/2015; 67(2). DOI:10.1080/01635581.2015.989375 · 2.47 Impact Factor