In recent years folate and folic acid have been attracting major scientific and public health interest in relation to the effect that they have on the prevention of Neural Tube Defects (NTD’s), anaemia, cardiovascular disease, and cognitive performance. However, folate and folic acids role in the prevention of these corresponds to the bioavailability of each of them. This review aims to discuss the bioavailability of dietary folate vs folic acid.
All articles reviewed agree that the bioavailability of folate and synthetic folic acid differ greatly due to a number of factors such as the foods matrix, one’s own digestion ability, how much one ingests, or by taking anti-inflammatory and any other medication.
A study by McNulty (2004) states that synthetic folic acid that foods such as cereals were fortified with are more stable than the natural form of folic acid found in foods and ranged from 10-98% in their bioavailability. McNulty also states that there is an assumption that the bioavailability of Folic Acid added to food is greater than that of natural food folate by a factor of 1. 7. This estimation is based on a study carried out on non-pregnant woman where the bioavailability of food folate was found to be

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