The UK Food Standards Agency convened a group of expert scientists to review current research investigating folate bioavailability. The workshop aimed to overview current research and establish priorities for future research. Discrepancies were observed in the evidence base for folate bioavailability, especially with regard to the relative bioavailability of natural folates compared with folic acid. A substantial body of evidence shows folic acid to have superior bioavailability relative to food folates; however, the exact relative bioavailability still needs to be determined, and in particular with regard to mixed diets. The bioavailability of folate in a mixed diet is probably not a weighted average of that in the various foods consumed; thus the workshop considered that assessment of folate bioavailability of whole diets should be a high priority for future research
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