Background & aims: As part of a broader study examining the relationship between serum folate concentrations and prostate cancer progression, we determined if there are age related changes in serum folate concentration compared to folate intake in the U.S. male population. Methods: Weighted data from the 2007-2008 and 2009-2010 NHANES databases was analyzed. A subpopulation of male participants was selected who were older than one year of age, had completed two days of dietary recall including supplement usage, and had fasted for at least 4 h prior to having their serum folate measured. Total dietary folate equivalent (DFE) intake (mcg) represented the combination of all natural food folate and folic acid from fortification and dietary supplements. Geometric means of serum folate (nM), red blood cell (RBC) folate (nM), and DFE intake were calculated for nine consecutive age groups, with each group generally representing a 10 year span. Analysis was then focused on males older than 20 years of age. Results: A total of 19,142 subjects were in the initial NHANES population, which represented over 294 million people within the United States. Applying our inclusion criteria created a final subpopulation size of 3775. Subsequent analysis of the age groups for all males older than 20 years found the following: The mean serum folate (nM) with 95% CI levels ranged from 28.2 (26.6, 29.9) to 55.1 (47.5, 63.9). RBC folate (nM) concentrations with 95% CI levels without any fasting exclusions ranged from 795.6 (741.5, 853.7) to 1038.4 (910.7, 1184.2). Serum and RBC folate concentrations were significantly higher with age across these age groups (p < 0.001). However, the mean total daily DFE intake did not significantly differ ranging from 640.4 (574.7, 713.7) to 720.2 (665, 780) mcg, (p = 0.373). Serum folate concentrations in men with total daily DFE intake of at least 1000 mcg increased more significantly with increasing age than serum folate concentrations in men with less than 400 mcg of total daily DFE intake (p < 0.001). There was a similar trend with the RBC folate concentrations (p = 0.054). Conclusions: We observed higher serum and RBC folate concentrations and a divergence between dietary folate intake and these folate concentrations in older males. This phenomenon was evident at total DFE intakes that were significantly less than the 1000 mcg tolerable upper intake level currently recommended by the Institute of Medicine.
- Folic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine