Open Access Research

Plasma folate levels are associated with the lipoprotein profile: a retrospective database analysis

Alexander Semmler, Susanna Moskau, Andreas Grigull, Susan Farmand, Thomas Klockgether, Yvo Smulders, Henk Blom, Bernd Zur, Birgit Stoffel-Wagner and Michael Linnebank*

Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:31  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-31

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Another aspect of the difference between high intake of folate and vitamin B12 on lipid profile

Ahmad Saedisomeolia   (2012-01-06 14:39)  Tehran University of Medical Sciences email

Title of commentary:
Another aspect of the difference between high folate and vitamin B12 intake on lipid profile

Commentary letter about article:
��Plasma folate levels are associated with the lipoprotein profile a retrospective database analysis: Semmler et al: Nutrition Journal. 2010; 9: 31��

Commentary by: Roya Kolahdouz Mohammadi (MSc in Nutrition Sciences), Assistant Professor Ahmad Saedisomeolia (PhD in Nutrition Sciences)

Department of Nutrition and Biochemistry, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

In this paper, it has been shown that: high folate levels are associated with increased levels of HDL, lower levels of LDL and a lower LDL/HDL ratio. However, vitamin B12 is not associated with the lipoprotein profile. The explanation of the authors about the possible reasons for the positive relationship between folate levels and favorable lipid profile is supposed to be incomplete. This commentary letter encourages the readers of this paper to think about one of the most possible explanations of this relationship.
However, folate and vitamin B12 serve as single-carbon transporters (and play a key role in inhibition of homocystein production which is supported by the authors of the article), there is a fundamental difference between folate and vitamin B12. Folate is provided mostly from plant foods, however, the most significant natural dietary source of vitamin B12 is animal foods. Therefore, we believe that high folate level is resulted from a healthy diet (including: high plant food, high dietary fiber intake, less saturated fat and low calorie diet) [1]. On the other hand, high vitamin B12 levels are expected to be related to high animal food sources [reviewed in [2] which may affect inversely on favorable lipid profile. Therefore, it is suggested to the readers of this paper to consider the other aspect of the difference between high folate and vitamin B12 group studied in this paper. We conclude that the difference between the nutritional patterns of the participants (whether they are consuming plant or animal foods) can affect their lipid profile.

1. De Biase, S.G., et al., Vegetarian diet and cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Arq Bras Cardiol, 2007. 88(1): p. 35-9.
2. Watanabe, F., Vitamin B12 sources and bioavailability. Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2007. 232(10): p. 1266-74.

Competing interests

None declared


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