Kazakhstan: a folate-deficient area?
Sommaire de l'article
Objective:In the Republic of Kazakhstan, located in central Asia, the traditional diet consists mainly of meat, and vegetable intake tends to be deficient. This eating lifestyle may contribute to folate deficiency, which is closely linked to abnormal homocysteine (HCY) metabolism.Subjects and methods:In order to evaluate current folate status in the healthy Kazakh population, we screened serum folate and plasma HCY in 50 healthy Kazakh adults aged 20-65 years (KZH) and 60 healthy Japanese control subjects aged 27-65 years (JPN).Results:Serum levels of folate were significantly lower in KZH than in JPN (3.1 vs 10.0 ng/ml, P<0.01). Fifty of 61 (82.0%) subjects in KZH but none in JPN showed low concentrations of folate (<3.6 ng/ml). Plasma levels of HCY were significantly higher in KZH than in JPN (13.2 vs 7.8 nmol/ml, P<0.01).Conclusions:Our findings strongly suggest that owing to the insufficient intake of vegetables, folate deficiency exists in Kazakhstan. Furthermore, hyperhomocysteinemia was observed in this group, probably owing to the secondary effects of folate deficiency.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 19 April 2006; doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602428.