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Relative Bioavailability of Folic Acid and L-5-Methlytetrahydrofolate

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of British Columbia Identifier:
First received: April 20, 2012
Last updated: August 9, 2012
Last verified: August 2012
Folic acid, a form of the vitamin folate, is added to grain products in Canada to help reduce birth defects. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is very stable (doesn't break down) when added to foods. There are emerging health concerns about chronic folic acid consumption. Recently another more natural form of folate, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-MTHF) has become available. The investigators plan to conduct a randomized trial in women to determine if supplements containing L-MTHF consumed over three months raises blood folate levels as much as supplements containing folic acid. The investigators hypothesize that L-MTHF will increase red cell folate over 12 weeks to same extent as equimolar folic acid.

Condition Intervention
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Dietary Supplement: L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (Metafolin ®) Dietary Supplement: folic acid Dietary Supplement: Placebo

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Official Title: Relative Bioavailability of Folic Acid and L-5-Methlytetrahydrofolate

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of British Columbia:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Red cell folate (nmol/L) [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Measured at baseline, 6 weeks, 12 weeks

Enrollment: 150
Study Start Date: May 2012
Study Completion Date: July 2012
Primary Completion Date: July 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: L-MTHF Dietary Supplement: L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (Metafolin ®)
dosage: 1000 μg, frequency: once daily, duration: 12 weeks
Active Comparator: folic acid Dietary Supplement: folic acid
dosage: 1000 μg, frequency: once daily, duration: 12 weeks
Placebo Comparator: placebo (methyl cellulose) Dietary Supplement: Placebo
frequency: once daily, duration: 12 weeks

Detailed Description:

The proposed study is a twelve week, cross-sectional, double blind, randomized controlled trial. The sample population will consist of one-hundred fifty healthy adult volunteers. All participants will be Malaysian women between eighteen and forty-two years of age. Study participants will be recruited by word of mouth and through advertisements placed in hospitals and universities starting in January 2011. Study participants will be randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: 1) 1000ug L-MTHF 2) 1000ug folic acid 3) placebo (methyl cellulose). All treatments will be given in capsule form. Blood samples will be collected at baseline, 6 and 12 weeks.

The primary outcome measure is red cell folate. A sample size of 45 subjects per group will allow us to detect a minimum difference of 100 nmol/L red cell folate assuming an alpha 0.05, a beta of 0.8 a SD of 183 nmol/L. Accounting for a 10% attrition rate we will enroll 50 women per group. The study will be analyzed as intent to treat. Baseline characteristics and compliance between treatment groups will be compared using a one-way ANOVA for continuous variables and chi-square analyses for categorical variables. The difference in measurements between the treatment groups at week 12 will be determined by regression analysis, controlling for baseline values.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 42 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Malaysian nationality

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin supplement users
  • Chronic disease
  • prior neural tube defect affected pregnancy
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01584050

Canada, British Columbia
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of British Columbia
Principal Investigator: Tim Green, PhD University of British Columbia
  More Information

Responsible Party: University of British Columbia Identifier: NCT01584050     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: H10-03426
Study First Received: April 20, 2012
Last Updated: August 9, 2012

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
Vitamin B Deficiency
Deficiency Diseases
Vitamin B Complex
Nutrition Disorders
Folic Acid
Growth Substances
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on September 21, 2017