Effect of acute folic acid ingestion on blood pressure, haemorheological and plasma lipid variables in healthy young men

  • LA Olatunji Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • JFA Owoeye
  • VA Olatunji
  • AO Soladoye


The increased viscosity of blood has been associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases and blood rheology has been shown to be influenced by nutrition. This study was designed to elucidate whether acute folic acid ingestion has any effect on blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), haemorheological variables (haematocrit, relative plasma viscosity, and total plasma proteins), plasma cholestrol, triglyceride, LDL-and HDL-cholesterol in twenty normotensive healthy young men. Ingestion of folic acid (10mg) after 60min was found to cause significant (p<0.001) decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. There were corrresponding decreases in relative plasma viscosity (-7.81.5%; p<0.001), plasma total cholesterol (-414.1 ± 3.5mmoL%; p<0.001), LDL-cholesterol (-1.43.9mmol/L; p<0.01) and triglyceride (-24.0 ± 4.8mmol/L%; p<0.001). On the other hand, ingestion of folic acid caused increases in HDL-Cholesterol by 12.0 ± 2.2mmol/L% (p<0.001). However, haematocrit and total plasma protein values were not significantly affected after oral folic acid ingestion. These findings suggested that supplementation with folic acid decreases blood pressure by exerting beneficial effect on plasma viscosity and lipid parameters. In addition, lipid-lowering effect but not plasma protein may be the factor responsible for the decrease in blood viscosity.

Keywords: acute ingestion, folic acid, plasma viscosity, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoproteins

Nigerian Journal of Health and Biomedical Sciences Vol. 4(2) 2005: 117-120

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eISSN: 1595-8272