Folic acid supplementation lowers blood arsenic

Folic Acid Supplementation May Lower Blood Arsenic Levels in Arsenic-Exposed Adults

"Folic acid supplementation lowers blood arsenic," Gamble MV, Liu X, et al, .

(Address: MV Gamble, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 60 Haven Avenue, B1, New York, NY 10032, USA. E-mail: mvg7@columbia.edu ).

Summary: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 130 arsenic-exposed Bangladeshi adults with low plasma folate (less than 9 nmol/L), results indicate that supplementation with folate may lower blood arsenic concentrations.

The participants were randomized to 400 mug/day folic acid or placebo, for a period of 12 weeks. At intervention end, MMAs (monomethylarsonic: from methylation of ingested inorganic arsenic) in blood reduced by 22.24% in the folic acid group, and by 1.24% in the placebo group.

Additionally, total blood arsenic reduced by 13.62% in the folic acid group, and by 2.49% in the placebo group. Thus, the results of this study suggest that folic acid supplementation to arsenic-exposed adults may increase arsenic methylation and thereby lower blood arsenic.

Am J Clin Nutr, 2007; 86(4): 1202-9

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