Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2009) 08, 123 - 129

Research article
Possible Relationship of Folic Acid Supplementation and Improved Flow-Mediated Dilation in Premenopausal, Eumenorrheic Athletic Women
Anne Z. Hoch1, , Nicholas M. Pajewski2, Raymond G. Hoffmann2, Jane E. Schimke3, David D. Gutterman4
Author Information
1 Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery/Cardiovascular Center,
2 Division of Biostatistics/Department of Population Health/ General Clinical Research Center,
3 Orthopaedic Surgery,
4 Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Anne Z. Hoch
✉ Associate Professor, Sports Medicine Center, Women’s Sports Medicine Program, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery/Cardiovascular Center , 9200 West Wisconsin Avenue Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA
Publish Date
Received: 03-09-2008
Accepted: 09-02-2009
Published (online): 01-03-2009
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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 words: Premenopause, regular menstruation, endothelial function, folate, flow-mediated vasodilation

           Key Points
  • Folic acid improves FMD in eumenorrheic runners.
  • Folic acid improves FMD in women runners.
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