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Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181df59f4
Original Research

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†

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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.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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