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Possible relationship of folic Acid supplementation and improved flow-mediated dilation in premenopausal, eumenorrheic athletic women. J Sports Sci Med 2009;8(1):123-9



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The purpose of this study was to determine if six weeks of folic acid supplementation would improve brachial artery endothelial-dependent flow-mediated dilation in eumenorrheic female runners with previously normal serum folate levels. This was a prospective, double-blinded, randomized pilot study with convenience sampling. Sixteen eumenorrheic subjects who were not taking birth control pills and who ran at least 20 miles/week were randomly assigned to 10 mg/day of folic acid supplementation or placebo for at least 6 weeks. Serum folate levels and brachial artery measurements were made during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, in a sedentary state, following an 8 hour fast; a standard ultrasound technique was used. The brachial artery vasodilator response to reactive hyperemia was similar between the folic acid (6.6% ± 0.8%, mean ± SE) and placebo groups (6.5% ± 0.7%) at baseline. After six weeks, there was a significantly higher change in flow-mediated dilation for the folic acid group (3.5% ± 0.6%) compared to the placebo group (0.1% ± 0.2%) (p = 0.01). Serum folate levels also increased significantly in the folic acid group following six weeks of folic acid supplementation. This study demonstrates that brachial artery flow-mediated dilation improves significantly in eumenorrheic female runners with previously normal serum folate levels after 6 weeks of supplementation with folic acid. Key pointsFolic acid improves FMD in eumenorrheic runners.Folic acid improves FMD in women runners.

Author List

Hoch AZ, Pajewski NM, Hoffmann RG, Schimke JE, Gutterman DD


David D. Gutterman MD Sr Associate 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