Drinking Tea Fortified With Folate And Vitamin B12 Prevents
The consumption of tea fortified with folate and vitamin B12 may help eliminate anemia and neural tube defects associated with inadequate dietary intake and absorption of these nutrients, finds a recent study. A single daily cup might therefore provide an ideal vehicle for fortification with these water-soluble vitamins, the study authors thought. To test this out, they divided 43 young women (average age 20) from Sangli in the state of Maharashtra into three groups.

The women were asked to use teabags laced with therapeutic doses of 1 mg folate plus either 0.1 mg vitamin B12 (group 1; 19 women) or 0.5 mg vitamin B12 (group 2, 19 women), or to use unfortified teabags (group 0, 5 women) in a daily cup of tea for 2 months. Their serum vitamin and haemoglobin levels were compared at the beginning and end of the study period.

Most women had anaemia with low to normal serum folate and below normal serum vitamin B12 levels at the start of the study. After 2 months, there were significant average increases in serum folate levels of 8.37 ng/ml and 6.69 ng/ml in groups 1 and 2, respectively, compared with a rise of 1.26 ng/ml among the women in group 0.

Serum vitamin B12 levels rose to more than 300 pg/ml in more than half of the women in group 1 and in two-thirds of those in group 2. Average hemoglobin levels also rose by 1.45 g/dl in group 1 and by 0.79 g/dl in group 2. This is a feasibility study, involving small numbers of participants, so larger comparative studies would be needed before any firm conclusions could be drawn, say the study authors.

And they conclude: "Tea is an outstanding scalable vehicle for fortification with folate and vitamin B12 in India, and has the potential to help eliminate hematological and neurological complications arising from inadequate dietary consumption or absorption of folate and vitamin B12."

Source:
https://nutrition.bmj.com/content/early/2021/06/08/bmjnph-2020-000209
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