Factors affecting the distribution of folate forms in the serum of elderly German adults
- 217 Downloads
We investigated the roles of age, vitamin B12 markers, and the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism as determinants of folate forms in serum.
We measured the serum concentrations of (6S)-5-CH3–H4folate, (6S)-H4folate, (6S)-5-HCO–H4folate, (6R)-5,10-CH+–H4folate, and folic acid in 146 non-supplemented older participants (median age 74 years). The concentrations of total vitamin B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and total homocysteine (tHcy) were also measured.
Elevated metabolites (MMA > 271 nmol/L and tHcy > 12.0 μmol/L) were found in 24.0 and 63.0 % of the participants, respectively. We found a significant age-dependent decrease (participants with a median age of 87 years compared with participants with a median age of 60 years) in the sum of serum folate levels, the (6S)-5-CH3–H4folate concentration, and the (6S)-5-CH3–H4folate proportion. In addition, participants with elevated metabolite levels were older, had lower concentrations of the sum of folates and (6S)-5-CH3–H4folate, and had higher concentrations of (6S)-5-CHO–H4folate and creatinine but had a comparable holoTC/total vitamin B12 ratio. No association was found between the MTHFR C677T genotype and serum folate forms.
Low serum (6S)-5-CH3–H4folate concentrations and the proportion of (6S)-5-CH3–H4folate (percentage of the sum of folate forms) are related to older age and elevated MMA and tHcy levels.
KeywordsFolate Folic acid Age Elderly Vitamin B12
Ultra-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry
We thank Mrs. Marion Bodis and Mrs. Vera Kruse for their excellent assistance in the course of this study.
Conflict of interest
- 3.Smulders YM, Smith DE, Kok RM, Teerlink T, Gellekink H, Vaes WH, Stehouwer CD, Jakobs C (2007) Red blood cell folate vitamer distribution in healthy subjects is determined by the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism and by the total folate status. J Nutr Biochem 18:693–699CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.Ulrich CM (2007) Folate and cancer prevention: a closer look at a complex picture. Am J Clin Nutr 86:271–273Google Scholar
- 15.Flynn A, Hirvonen T, Mensink GB, Ocke MC, Serra-Majem L, Stos K, Szponar L, Tetens I, Turrini A, Fletcher R, Wildemann T (2009) Intake of selected nutrients from foods, from fortification and from supplements in various European countries. Food Nutr Res 53. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v53i0.2038
- 20.Homocysteine Lowering Trialists’ Collaboration (2005) Dose-dependent effects of folic acid on blood concentrations of homocysteine: a meta-analysis of the randomized trials. Am J Clin Nutr 82:806–812Google Scholar
- 22.Stabler SP, Lindenbaum J, Savage DG, Allen RH (1993) Elevation of serum cystathionine levels in patients with cobalamin and folate deficiency. Blood 81:3404–3413Google Scholar
- 26.Herrmann W, Obeid R, Schorr H, Geisel J (2003) Functional vitamin B12 deficiency and determination of holotranscobalamin in populations at risk. Clin Chem Lab Med 41:1478–1488Google Scholar
- 27.Obeid R, Kirsch SH, Kasoha M, Eckert R, Herrmann W (2011) Concentrations of unmetabolized folic acid and primary folate forms in plasma after folic acid treatment in older adults. Metabolism 60:673–680Google Scholar
- 30.Bailey RL, Mills JL, Yetley EA, Gahche JJ, Pfeiffer CM, Dwyer JT, Dodd KW, Sempos CT, Betz JM, Picciano MF (2010) Unmetabolized serum folic acid and its relation to folic acid intake from diet and supplements in a nationally representative sample of adults aged ≥60 y in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 92:383–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 33.Tisman G, Herbert V (1973) B 12 dependence of cell uptake of serum folate: an explanation for high serum folate and cell folate depletion in B 12 deficiency. Blood 41:465–469Google Scholar