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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 7, 2007

Fortified mineral water improves folate status and decreases plasma homocysteine concentration in pregnant women

Jouko Järvenpää, Ursula Schwab, Tiina Lappalainen, Mervi Päkkilä, Leo Niskanen, Kari Punnonen and Markku Ryynänen
From the journal


Objectives: There is no mandatory folic acid fortification of food in Finland. We investigated the effects of mineral water fortified with folic acid, vitamins B6, B12, D and calcium on serum and erythrocyte folate concentrations, serum vitamin B12 and plasma homocysteine concentrations in pregnancy.

Design: A randomized, controlled, double-blind, parallel-group intervention study.

Methods: Seventy-four pregnant women were recruited from two health care units. The study began at the eleventh week with a two-week run-in period, followed by an eight-week intervention period. The diet was monitored by food records. During the intervention, subjects consumed 1000 mL/day fortified or normal mineral water. The pregnancies were monitored carefully.

Results: The folate intake was 255 μg/day in the study group and 274 μg/day in the controls. Serum folate concentrations increased in the study group by 10.3 nmol/L and decreased in the controls by 2.7 nmol/L (P<0.05) during the study. The erythrocyte folate concentrations increased in the study group by 360.9 nmol/L and in the controls by 195.6 nmol/L (P=0.004) and serum homocysteine concentrations fell by 1.1 μmol/L and by 0.3 μmol/L, respectively (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Finnish pregnant women have low dietary folate intake. Fortified mineral water improved folate status and reduced plasma homocysteine concentrations in the pregnant subjects.


Corresponding author: Jouko Järvenpää, MD University of Oulu Oulu Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology PL 24, 90029 Oulu/Finland


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Published Online: 2007-03-07
Published in Print: 2007-04-01

©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York