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Folic Acid Supplementation Improves Vascular Function in Amenorrheic Runners

Hoch, Anne Z DO*†; Lynch, Stacy L MD*; Jurva, Jason W MD†; Schimke, Jane E AAS*; Gutterman, David D MD†

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 20 - Issue 3 - pp 205-210
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181df59f4
Original Research

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if folic acid supplementation improves endothelial vascular function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation; FMD) in amenorrheic runners.

Design: Prospective cross-sectional study.

Setting: Academic medical center in the Midwest.

Participants: Ten amenorrheic and 10 eumenorrheic women runners from the community volunteered for this study.

Interventions: Each participant was treated with folic acid (10 mg/d) for 4 weeks.

Main Outcome Measures: Brachial artery FMD was measured before and after folic acid supplementation with standard techniques.

Results: The brachial artery FMD response to reactive hyperemia improved after folic acid supplementation in amenorrheic women (3.0% ± 2.3% vs. 7.7% ± 4.5%; P = 0.02). In the eumenorrheic control group, there was no change in brachial artery FMD (6.7% ± 2.0% vs. 5.9% ± 2.6%; P = 0.52).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that brachial artery FMD, an indicator of vascular endothelial function, improves in amenorrheic female runners after short-term supplementation with folic acid.

From the Departments of *Orthopaedic Surgery; and †Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Submitted for publication October 12, 2009; accepted March 18, 2010.

This study was partially funded by the Cardiovascular Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Anne Zeni Hoch, DO, Women's Sports Medicine Program, Sports Medicine Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery/Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, 9200 West Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226 (e-mail: azeni@mcw.edu).

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.