Background: Before dietary folate is absorbed, polyglutamate folates are deconjugated to monoglutamates by folylpoly-gamma-glutamyl carboxypeptidase in the small intestine. The 1561T allele of the glutamate carboxypeptidase II gene (GCPII), which codes for folylpoly-gamma-glutamyl carboxypeptidase, may impair intestinal absorption of dietary folates. Objective: Our aim was to study the bioavailability of polyglutamyl folic acid relative to that of monoglutamyl folic acid across GCPII 1561 genotypes. Design: In a randomized study, 180 healthy adults aged 50-75 y received 323 nmol monoglutamyl folic acid/d (n = 59), 262 nmol heptaglutamyl folic acid/d (n = 61), or placebo (n = 60) for 12 wk. Genotypes were assessed after the intervention. The bioavailability of heptaglutamyl folic acid relative to that of monoglutamyl folic acid was calculated by using the changes in serum folate concentration in the treatment groups, after correction for changes in the placebo group and for the administered dose. Results: No subjects with the TT genotype were encountered. At baseline, serum and erythrocyte folate concentrations were higher (P <0.05) in subjects with the CT genotype [16.3 nmol/L (geometric (x) over bar; 95% CI: 13.7,19.3 nmol/L) and 863 nmol/L (735,1012 nmol/L), respectively; n = 19] than in subjects with the CC genotype [ 13.7 (13.1, 14.3) and 685 (652, 721) nmol/L, respectively; n = 161]. Baseline homocysteine concentrations were not significantly different between genotypes. The bioavailability of heptaglutamyl folic acid relative to that of monoglutamyl folic acid was not significantly different between subjects with the CC (64%; 52%, 76%) and CT genotypes (70%; 49%, 91%). Conclusions: The 1561 T allele of the GCPII gene does not impair the bioavailability of polyglutamyl folic acid. However, the allele is associated with higher folate status. This association may be explained by yet unidentified factors controlling the expression of the GCPII gene.
|Journal||American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
- neural-tube defects
- total homocysteine levels
- plasma homocysteine
- risk factor