Folate Abstracts 9

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Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development-Folate Review.
            (Bailey et al., 2015) Download
The Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) project is designed to provide evidence-based advice to anyone with an interest in the role of nutrition in health. Specifically, the BOND program provides state-of-the-art information and service with regard to selection, use, and interpretation of biomarkers of nutrient exposure, status, function, and effect. To accomplish this objective, expert panels are recruited to evaluate the literature and to draft comprehensive reports on the current state of the art with regard to specific nutrient biology and available biomarkers for assessing nutrients in body tissues at the individual and population level. Phase I of the BOND project includes the evaluation of biomarkers for 6 nutrients: iodine, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin B-12. This review represents the second in the series of reviews and covers all relevant aspects of folate biology and biomarkers. The article is organized to provide the reader with a full appreciation of folate's history as a public health issue, its biology, and an overview of available biomarkers (serum folate, RBC folate, and plasma homocysteine concentrations) and their interpretation across a range of clinical and population-based uses. The article also includes a list of priority research needs for advancing the area of folate biomarkers related to nutritional health status and development.

Comparison of serum folate species analyzed by LC-MS/MS with total folate measured by microbiologic assay and Bio-Rad radioassay.
            (Fazili et al., 2007) Download
BACKGROUND:  The Bio-Rad QuantaPhase II radioassay (BR), used for 25 years to measure total folate (TFOL) concentrations for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), will be discontinued in 2007. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) or a microbiologic assay (MA) will be used in the future. METHODS:  We measured folate species by LC-MS/MS and TFOL by MA and BR in 327 serum samples. RESULTS:  LC-MS/MS measured 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5CH(3)THF; 82%), folic acid (FA; 8%), 5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid (5CHOTHF; 6%), tetrahydrofolic acid (THF; 4%), and 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolic acid (5,10CH=THF; 0%). The sum of the folate species correlated well with TFOL measured by MA (R(2) = 0.97) and BR (R(2) = 0.91). Compared with LC-MS/MS results, MA and BR values were significantly lower (-6% and -29%, respectively); however, these differences were concentration dependent. The MA almost completely recovered folates added to serum samples except for FA [69% (3%)] and THF [36% (10%)]. The BR underrecovered 5CH(3)THF [61% (9%)] and 5CHOTHF [38% (14%)] and overrecovered 5,10CH=THF [234% (32%)]. Multiple linear regression models with log-transformed data yielded a good fit for converting BR data to MA or LC-MS/MS data and MA data to LC-MS/MS data. CONCLUSIONS:  The good correspondence between the sum of folate species determined by LC-MS/MS and TFOL determined by MA makes these 2 assays interchangeable. The BR produces much lower results, on average, probably because of 5CH(3)THF underrecovery. The conversion equations provided could be used for future NHANES time trend analyses.

Severe experimental folate deficiency in a human subject - a longitudinal investigation of red-cell folate immunoassay errors as megaloblastic anaemia develops.
            (Golding, 2014) Download
BACKGROUND:  The few published studies comparing results between commercial red-cell folate immunoassays have found significant differences. None have provided longitudinal data during the development of megaloblastic anaemia from severe folate deficiency. The objective was to produce longitudinal data, comparing results between three commercial immunoassays for red-cell folate, generated by means of severe experimental folate deficiency. METHODS:  This 58 year old male, initially replete in folate, used a folate-deficient diet to severely deplete himself of folate until overt megaloblastic anaemia developed. The Siemens Advia Centaur, Roche Elecsys 2010 and Beckman UniCel DxI 800 Access immunoassay systems were used, by different clinical pathology laboratories, to perform weekly assays for red-cell folate throughout the depletion stage. The results were analysed graphically four ways: comparison with lines of equality; number of standard deviations difference against the means; number of standard deviations difference over time; variation over time. RESULTS:  There were very significant differences, varying with time and folate concentration, between the results reported by the three laboratories. The differences were greatest, up to 17 standard deviations, between the Siemens Advia Centaur and each of the other two systems. Of the 85 results comparing the Siemens Advia Centaur and the Roche Elecsys 2010, two were within the 99.9% confidence interval. Of the 91 results comparing the Siemens Advia Centaur and the Beckman UniCel DxI 800 Access, 22 were within the 99.9% confidence interval. Of the 83 results comparing the Beckman UniCel DxI 800 Access and the Roche Elecsys 2010, 37 were within the 99.9% confidence interval. CONCLUSIONS:  Comparative longitudinal data from clinical pathology laboratories, produced during experimental folate deficiency, have exposed very significant differences in results between commercial red-cell folate immunoassays. One immunoassay, the Roche Elecsys 2010, failed to detect overt megaloblastic anaemia of severe folate deficiency.

Indicators for assessing folate and vitamin B-12 status and for monitoring the efficacy of intervention strategies.
            (Green, 2011) Download
Deficiencies of folate or of vitamin B-12 are widespread and constitute a major global burden of morbidity that affect all age groups. Detecting or confirming the presence of folate or vitamin B-12 deficiency and distinguishing one from the other depends, ultimately, on laboratory testing. Tests to determine the presence of folate or vitamin B-12 deficiency are used singly or in combination to establish the nutritional status and prevalence of deficiencies of the vitamins in various populations. The efficacy of interventions through the use of fortification or supplements is monitored by using the same laboratory tests. Tests currently in use have limitations that can be either technical or have a biological basis. Consequently, each single test cannot attain perfect sensitivity, specificity, or predictive value. Laboratory indicators of vitamin B-12 or folate status involve the measurement of either the total or a physiologically relevant fraction of the vitamin in a compartment such as blood. Thus, assays to measure vitamin B-12 or folate in plasma or serum as well as folate in red blood cells are in widespread use, and more recently, methods to measure vitamin B-12 associated with the plasma binding protein transcobalamin (holotranscobalamin) have been developed. Alternatively, concentrations of surrogate biochemical markers that reflect the metabolic function of the vitamin can be used. Surrogates most commonly used are plasma homocysteine, for detection of either vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency, and methylmalonic acid for detection of vitamin B-12 deficiency. The general methods as well as their uses, indications, and limitations are presented.

Maternal Folate, Vitamin B12 Levels during Pregnancy and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders
         Raghavan 2016 Abstract  Download
In this urban low-income minority birth cohort, we observed an elevated risk of ASD associated with high maternal plasma folate levels (>59 nmol/L), which far exceeds the excess cutoff suggested by the WHO (>45.3 nmol/L). Excess maternal vitamin B12 (>600 pmol/L) was also shown to be associated with greater ASD risk in offspring. The risk of ASD was highest if mothers had both excess in folate and B12 levels. Our findings warrant additional investigation and highlight the need to identify optimum prenatal folate and vitamin B12 levels that maximize health benefits, at the same time minimize the risk of excess and its associated adverse consequences such as ASD.

Biomarkers of folate status in NHANES: a roundtable summary.
            (Yetley et al., 2011b) Download
A roundtable to discuss the measurement of folate status biomarkers in NHANES took place in July 2010. NHANES has measured serum folate since 1974 and red blood cell (RBC) folate since 1978 with the use of several different measurement procedures. Data on serum 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) and folic acid (FA) concentrations in persons aged ≥60 y are available in NHANES 1999-2002. The roundtable reviewed data that showed that folate concentrations from the Bio-Rad Quantaphase II procedure (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA; used in NHANES 1991-1994 and NHANES 1999-2006) were, on average, 29% lower for serum and 45% lower for RBC than were those from the microbiological assay (MA), which was used in NHANES 2007-2010. Roundtable experts agreed that these differences required a data adjustment for time-trend analyses. The roundtable reviewed the possible use of an isotope-dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) measurement procedure for future NHANES and agreed that the close agreement between the MA and LC-MS/MS results for serum folate supported conversion to the LC-MS/MS procedure. However, for RBC folate, the MA gave 25% higher concentrations than did the LC-MS/MS procedure. The roundtable agreed that the use of the LC-MS/MS procedure to measure RBC folate is premature at this time. The roundtable reviewed the reference materials available or under development at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and recognized the challenges related to, and the scientific need for, these materials. They noted the need for a commutability study for the available reference materials for serum 5MTHF and FA.

Overview of a roundtable on NHANES monitoring of biomarkers of folate and vitamin B-12 status: measurement procedure issues.
            (Yetley et al., 2011a) Download
A roundtable dialogue to discuss "NHANES Monitoring of Biomarkers of Folate and Vitamin B-12 Status" took place in July 2010. This article provides an overview of the meeting and this supplement issue. Although the focus of the roundtable dialogue was on the measurement of folate and vitamin B-12 status biomarkers in NHANES, this article also describes the relevance and importance of these issues for clinical and research laboratories. The roundtable identified the microbiological assay (MA) as the gold standard for measurement of serum and red blood cell folate concentrations. The roundtable noted that differences in results between the Bio-Rad Quantaphase II procedure (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA) that NHANES 1991-1994 and 1999-2006 used and the MA that NHANES 2007-2010 used will require adjustment equations to evaluate time trends. The roundtable found that the close agreement between the serum results for the MA and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) procedures supported the conversion to LC-MS/MS for serum folate in future NHANES. The roundtable recognized the uncertainty about whether subclinical vitamin B-12 deficiency is a public health concern but encouraged reinstatement of at least one circulating vitamin B-12 measure and one functional vitamin B-12 status measure in future NHANES. The use of serum vitamin B-12 and plasma methylmalonic acid would provide continuity with past NHANES. The roundtable supported the continued use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reference materials in NHANES biomarker analyses and the further development of additional reference materials by the NIST.

 

 


References

Bailey, LB, et al. (2015), ‘Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development-Folate Review.’, J Nutr, 145 (7), 1636S-80S. PubMed: 26451605
Fazili, Z, CM Pfeiffer, and M Zhang (2007), ‘Comparison of serum folate species analyzed by LC-MS/MS with total folate measured by microbiologic assay and Bio-Rad radioassay.’, Clin Chem, 53 (4), 781-84. PubMed: 17272488
Golding, PH (2014), ‘Severe experimental folate deficiency in a human subject - a longitudinal investigation of red-cell folate immunoassay errors as megaloblastic anaemia develops.’, Springerplus, 3 441. PubMed: 25332849
Green, R (2011), ‘Indicators for assessing folate and vitamin B-12 status and for monitoring the efficacy of intervention strategies.’, Am J Clin Nutr, 94 (2), 666S-72S. PubMed: 21733877
Yetley, EA, PM Coates, and CL Johnson (2011a), ‘Overview of a roundtable on NHANES monitoring of biomarkers of folate and vitamin B-12 status: measurement procedure issues.’, Am J Clin Nutr, 94 (1), 297S-302S. PubMed: 21593504
Yetley, EA, et al. (2011b), ‘Biomarkers of folate status in NHANES: a roundtable summary.’, Am J Clin Nutr, 94 (1), 303S-12S. PubMed: 21593502