Children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have very high levels of folate in their blood - so bringing into question the theory that IBD sufferers are deficient in folate, or folic acid.
IBD includes any illness that causes chronic inflammation in the intestines, such as ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.
Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco believe that childhood IBD may be different from the form that affects adults. They made the discovery when they measured blood folate levels in 78 children, nearly half of whom had recently been diagnosed with IBD while the remainder were healthy controls. Folate levels were nearly 20 per cent higher in the IBD group, the researchers found, even though the controls were ingesting around 18 per cent more folate from their diet.
Folate is found in leafy green vegetables, in citrus fruits and beans.
(Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009; 89: 545-50).