Effect of folic acid on homocysteine and insulin resistance of overweight and obese children and adolescents


1 Department of Pediatrics Endocrinology, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord; Department of Pediatrics Endocrinology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Biostatistics, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

3 School of Medicine, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran


Background: Considering the increasing trend of childhood obesity and subsequent burden of the disease in Iran and other countries and importance of early life intervention for achieving sustained effect on health of children and adolescents, this study aimed to investigate the effect of two different dose of folic acid on homocysteine (Hcy) level and insulin resistance of obese children.
Materials and Methods: In this randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial study, 60 obese and overweight children aged 5–12 years were enrolled. Selected obese children randomly allocated in two interventional (1 mg/day folic acid and 5 mg/day folic acid, for 8 weeks) and one control groups. Biochemical measurements including folic acid, Hcy, insulin and insulin resistance were measured between and within groups before and after trial.

Results: In each group, 20 obese children were studied. The three groups were age and sex matched. After folic acid administration, mean of Hcy, insulin resistance and insulin decreased significantly in two groups which folic acid administrated with two different doses (P < 0.05). The reduction in studied biochemical variables was similar in two interventional groups (1 and 5 mg folic acid daily) (P > 0.05). Mean differences for Hcy, insulin resistance and insulin, in two intervention groups were significantly higher than the control group (P < 0.0001). Mean differences of Hcy, insulin resistance and insulin, in two intervention groups were not different significantly (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: The findings of current trial showed that folic acid in two studied doses could be a safe and effective supplement for obese children to reduce Hcy level and insulin resistance, which consequently could prevent obesity-related complications including cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.


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