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Effect of oral folic acid supplements on zinc copper, and iron absorption and excretion

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Effects of folic acid supplements on zinc excretion patterns were seen during studies of mild zinc deficiency in men. During these studies eight men were fed diets containing 150 micrograms of folacin (by analysis) per day. Four of the men were supplemented with 400 micrograms of pteroylglutamic acid (folic acid) every other day. All of the men were fed diets containing about 3.5 mg/Zn per day which were supplemented with 4.0 mg/Zn day for 4 wk and unsupplemented for 16 wk, then supplemented with 30.0 mg/Zn day for 4 wk. Their body weights were kept constant by adjustments of energy intakes and expenditures. Duplicate diets, stools, and urines were analyzed for zinc, copper, and iron. Fecal zinc was significantly (p less than 0.001) higher in the group that received folic acid supplements during the initial control and low zinc intake periods. No significant differences were seen during the period of high zinc intake. During all dietary periods urinary zinc excretion was reduced by about 50% by folic acid supplementation. No apparent changes occurred in iron or copper excretion. These data indicate that supplemental folate influences zinc homeostasis, perhaps through formation of an insoluble chelate and impairment of absorption.
Milne, D.B. , Canfield, W.K. , Mahalko, J.R. , Sandstead, H.H.
Includes references.
American journal of clinical nutrition Apr 1984. v. 39 (4)
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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