Effect of long-term supplementation of folate on folate status in plasma and erythrocytes.
Folate nutritional status was estimated by radioassay of folate levels in plasma and erythrocytes during and after a long-term supplementation of folic acid. A 1-mg dose of folic acid per day was administered orally to 6 healthy subjects for 17 weeks. After 4 weeks of supplementation the mean folate concentration in plasma reached 11 ng/ml and remained constant thereafter, but decreased exponentially after stopping the supplementation. However, the folate concentrations in reticulocytes and erythrocytes increased linearly in all subjects during the supplementation. These results suggest that folate-rich, young erythrocytes are mixed at a constant rate with circulating ripe ones, which have a lower folate content, during folate supplementation.
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