Folate is absorbed across the colon of adults: evidence from cecal infusion of (13)C-labeled [6S]-5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid.
ABSTRACT Folate deficiency increases the risk of several human diseases. Likewise, high intakes of folate, particularly synthetic folic acid intake, may be associated with adverse health outcomes in humans. A more comprehensive understanding of the "input side" of folate nutrition may help to set dietary recommendations that strike the right balance between health benefits and risks. It is well known that the microflora in the colon produce large quantities of folate that approach or exceed recommended dietary intakes; however, there is no direct evidence of the bioavailability of this pool in humans.
The objective was to determine whether, and to what extent, the natural folate vitamer 5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid is absorbed across the intact colon of humans.
During screening colonoscopy, 684 nmol (320 microg) [(13)C]glutamyl-5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid was infused directly into the cecum of 6 healthy adults. Three or more weeks later, each subject received an intravenous injection of the same compound (172 nmol). Blood samples were collected before and after each treatment. The ratio of labeled to unlabeled folates was determined in plasma by tandem mass spectrometry.
The apparent rate of folate absorption across the colon of a bolus dose of [(13)C]5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid infused into the cecum was 0.6 +/- 0.2 nmol/h, as determined by the appearance of [(13)C(5)]5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid in plasma. In comparison, the rate of appearance of [(13)C(5)]5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid after an intravenous injection of [(13)C(5)]5-formyltetrahydrofolate was 7 +/- 1.2 nmol/h.
Physiologic doses of natural folate are absorbed across the intact colon in humans.
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ABSTRACT: Probiotic bacteria, mostly belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, confer a number of health benefits to the host, including vitamin production. With the aim to produce folate-enriched fermented products and/or develop probiotic supplements that accomplish folate biosynthesis in vivo within the colon, bifidobacteria and lactobacilli have been extensively studied for their capability to produce this vitamin. On the basis of physiological studies and genome analysis, wild-type lactobacilli cannot synthesize folate, generally require it for growth, and provide a negative contribution to folate levels in fermented dairy products. Lactobacillus plantarum constitutes an exception among lactobacilli, since it is capable of folate production in presence of para-aminobenzoic acid (pABA) and deserves to be used in animal trials to validate its ability to produce the vitamin in vivo. On the other hand, several folate-producing strains have been selected within the genus Bifidobacterium, with a great variability in the extent of vitamin released in the medium. Most of them belong to the species B. adolescentis and B. pseudocatenulatum, but few folate producing strains are found in the other species as well. Rats fed a probiotic formulation of folate-producing bifidobacteria exhibited increased plasma folate level, confirming that the vitamin is produced in vivo and absorbed. In a human trial, the same supplement raised folate concentration in feces. The use of folate-producing probiotic strains can be regarded as a new perspective in the specific use of probiotics. They could more efficiently confer protection against inflammation and cancer, both exerting the beneficial effects of probiotics and preventing the folate deficiency that is associated with premalignant changes in the colonic epithelia.Nutrients 01/2011; 3(1):118-34. · 0.68 Impact Factor
Article: A pivotal role of vitamin B9 in the maintenance of regulatory T cells in vitro and in vivo.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Dietary factors regulate immunological function, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Here we show that vitamin B9 is a survival factor for regulatory T (Treg) cells expressing high levels of vitamin B9 receptor (folate receptor 4). In vitamin B9-reduced condition in vitro, Treg cells could be differentiated from naïve T cells but failed to survive. The impaired survival of Treg cells was associated with decreased expression of anti-apoptotic Bcl2 and independent of IL-2. In vivo depletion of dietary vitamin B9 resulted in the reduction of Treg cells in the small intestine, a site for the absorption of dietary vitamin B9. These findings provide a new link between diet and the immune system, which could maintain the immunological homeostasis in the intestine.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e32094. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Human folate bioavailability.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The vitamin folate is recognized as beneficial health-wise in the prevention of neural tube defects, anemia, cardiovascular diseases, poor cognitive performance, and some forms of cancer. However, suboptimal dietary folate intake has been reported in a number of countries. Several national health authorities have therefore introduced mandatory food fortification with synthetic folic acid, which is considered a convenient fortificant, being cost-efficient in production, more stable than natural food folate, and superior in terms of bioavailability and bioefficacy. Other countries have decided against fortification due to the ambiguous role of synthetic folic acid regarding promotion of subclinical cancers and other adverse health effects. This paper reviews recent studies on folate bioavailability after intervention with folate from food. Our conclusions were that limited folate bioavailability data are available for vegetables, fruits, cereal products, and fortified foods, and that it is difficult to evaluate the bioavailability of food folate or whether intervention with food folate improves folate status. We recommend revising the classical approach of using folic acid as a reference dose for estimating the plasma kinetics and relative bioavailability of food folate.Nutrients 04/2011; 3(4):475-90. · 0.68 Impact Factor