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  • Folate, a water-soluble vitamin, helps the body form red blood cells and aids in the formation of genetic material within every body cell.
  • Folate deficiency is a lack of folic acid in the diet and the signs are often subtle.
  • Folate, an important B-group vitamin, participates in many metabolic pathways such as DNA and RNA biosynthesis and amino acid inter-conversions.
  • Rapidly proliferating cells require large amounts of folate to support efficient DNA replication, repair and methylation indicating the importance of folate in human metabolism.
  • Folate is an essential cofactor during human erythropoiesis. Low folate levels lead to prolongation of the synthesis phase of cell division and retardation of germ cell maturation.
  • Probiotic bacteria, mostly belonging to the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, confer a number of health benefits to the host, including vitamin production.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum constitutes an exception among lactobacilli, since it is capable of folate production in presence of para-aminobenzoic acid (pABA) and deserves to be used in animal trials to validate its ability to produce the vitamin in vivo.
  • It is commonly recognized that folates may play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing the homocysteine concentrations in the blood.
  • Folate auxotrophic organisms, such as humans, contain a polyglutamyl folate hydrolase activity to remove the glutamyl tail and make the folate available for uptake by the tissue cells. This conversion is catalyzed by intestinal ?-glutamyl hydrolases.
  • Recent data indicate that the folate status in the USA population has improved significantly, presumably due to the effects of fortification.
  • The highest folate concentrations were mostly found in color-fleshed potatoes. Variations of folate concentrations within either color- or white-fleshed tubers were similar ( 2-fold). Skin contained 30% higher folate concentrations than flesh.
  • Storage of tubers for 7 months generally led to an increase in folate contents. Semiquantitative RT-PCR analyses showed that higher folate contents were correlated with lower mRNA expression of some folate genes.

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