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We aimed to describe the difference in B-vitamin intake and in plasma B-vitamin and homocysteine concentrations before and after folic acid fortification, in relation to dietary patterns.
The Normative Aging Study (NAS) is a longitudinal study on ageing. Between 1961 and 1970, 2280 male volunteers aged 21–80 years (mean 42 years) were recruited. Dietary intake data have been collected since 1987 and assessment of plasma B vitamins and homocysteine was added in 1993.
Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
In the present study, 354 men who had completed at least one FFQ and one measurement of homocysteine, both before and after the fortification period, were included.
Three dietary patterns were identified by cluster analysis: (i) a prudent pattern, with relatively high intakes of fruit, vegetables, low-fat milk and breakfast cereals; (ii) an unhealthy pattern, with high intakes of baked products, sweets and added fats; and (iii) a low fruit and vegetable but relatively high alcohol intake pattern. Dietary intake and plasma concentrations of folate increased significantly (P < 0·05) among all dietary patterns after the fortification period. Homocysteine tended to decrease in supplement non-users and in subjects in the high alcohol, low fruit and vegetable dietary pattern (both P = 0·08).
After fortification with folic acid, folate intake and plasma folate concentration increased significantly in all dietary patterns. There was a trend towards greatest homocysteine lowering in the high alcohol, low fruit and vegetable group.
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