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Folic acid supplementation improves vascular function in professional dancers with endothelial dysfunction. PM R 2011 Nov;3(11):1005-12 PMID: 21715240 PMCID: PMC3328806

Pubmed ID



OBJECTIVE: To determine if folic acid supplementation improves vascular function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation [FMD]) in professional dancers with known endothelial dysfunction.

DESIGN: Prospective cross-sectional study.

SETTING: Academic institution in the Midwestern United States.

SUBJECTS: Twenty-two professional ballet dancers volunteered for this study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Subjects completed a 3-day food record to determine caloric and micronutrient intake. Menstrual status was determined by interview and questionnaire. Endothelial function was determined as flow-induced vasodilation measured by high-frequency ultrasound of the brachial artery. A change in brachial diameter of <5% to hyperemic flow stimulus was defined a priori as endothelial dysfunction. Subjects with abnormal FMD took 10 mg of folic acid daily for 4 weeks, and FMD testing was then repeated. Serum whole blood was measured for folic acid levels before and after supplementation.

RESULTS: Sixty-four percent of dancers (n = 14) had abnormal brachial artery FMD (<5%) (mean ± standard deviation, 2.9% ± 1.5%). After 4 weeks of folic acid supplementation (10 mg/day), FMD improved in all the subjects (7.1% ± 2.3%; P < .0001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals that vascular endothelial function improves in dancers after supplementation with folic acid (10 mg/day) for at least 4 weeks. This finding may have clinically important implications for future cardiovascular disease risk prevention.

Author List

Hoch AZ, Papanek P, Szabo A, Widlansky ME, Gutterman DD


David D. Gutterman MD Sr Assoc Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Anne Hoch DO Professor in the Orthopaedic Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Paula Papanek PhD, MPT, LAT, FACSM Associate Professor & Director of Exercise Science in the Exercise Science & Physical Therapy department at Marquette University
Aniko Szabo PhD Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Michael E. Widlansky MD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-82955212917   11 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Brachial Artery
Cross-Sectional Studies
Dietary Supplements
Endothelium, Vascular
Folic Acid
Prospective Studies
Surveys and Questionnaires
Vascular Diseases
Vitamin B Complex
Young Adult
jenkins-FCD Prod-299 9ef562391eceb2b8f95265c767fbba1ce5a52fd6