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Responses of biomarkers of folate and riboflavin status to folate and riboflavin supplementation in healthy and colorectal polyp patients (the FAB2 study)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mark Welfare, Dr Alison Spiers, Wendy Bal, Yvonne Duckworth, Eileen Gibney, Dr Liz Williams, Professor John Mathers


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Epidemiologic data suggest that increasing folate intake may protect against colorectal cancer. Riboflavin may interact with folate to modulate the effect. A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled intervention study (the FAB2 Study) was carried out in healthy controls and patients with colorectal polyps (adenomatous and hyperplastic) to examine effects of folic acid and riboflavin supplements on biomarkers of nutrient status and on putative biomarkers of colorectal cancer risk (DNA methylation and DNA damage; to be reported elsewhere). Ninety-eight healthy controls and 106 patients with colorectal polyps were stratified for the thermolabile variant of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase, MTHFR C677T, and were randomized to receive 400 μg of folic acid, 1,200 μg of folic acid, or 400 μg of folic acid plus 5 mg of riboflavin or placebo for 6 to 8 weeks. Blood samples and colon biopsy samples were collected for the measurement of biomarkers of folate and riboflavin status. Supplementation with folic acid elicited a significant increase in mucosal 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate, and a marked increase in RBC and plasma, with a dose-response. Measures of riboflavin status improved in response to riboflavin supplementation. Riboflavin supplement enhanced the response to low-dose folate in people carrying at least one T allele and having polyps. The magnitude of the response in mucosal folate was positively related to the increase in plasma 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate but was not different between the healthy group and polyp patients. Colorectal mucosal folate concentration responds to folic acid supplementation to an extent comparable to that seen in plasma, but with a suggestion of an upper limit. Copyright © 2007 American Association for Cancer Research.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Powers HJ, Hill MH, Welfare M, Spiers A, Bal W, Russell J, Duckworth Y, Gibney E, Williams EA, Mathers JC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention

Year: 2007

Volume: 16

Issue: 10

Pages: 2128-2135

ISSN (print): 1055-9965

ISSN (electronic): 1538-7755

Publisher: American Association for Cancer Research


DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-0208

PubMed id: 17932361


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