NORTHRIDGE, CA (April 26, 2011) Folic acid, an essential vitamin formulated to be part of a multivitamin + DHA liquid softgel capsule, is absorbed and available within the body in amounts similar to folic acid formulated for solid tablets, according to a study presented in a late breaking session at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2011 annual meeting. Different formulations, fillers and coatings of vitamin products may affect the degree or rate at which the product dissolves and releases its contents, which can alter the vitamin's absorption into the body and its bioavailability, a calculation of how much of a given dose of a compound reaches the blood stream to circulate within the body and have a potential effect.
Typically, folic acid supplements are available in tablet form, but many consumers find softgel capsules easier to swallow than tablets. All women of childbearing age especially those planning a pregnancy are recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consume about 400 micrograms (μg) of folic acid daily to reduce the risk for neural tube defects during fetal development.
"With the increasing science on folic acid and the rise in popularity of softgel capsules, we felt it was important to examine the differences in vitamin formulations, specifically prenatal multivitamin with folic acid + DHA softgels versus tablets, and how that might affect their bioavailability. We found that softgels are just as effective as the tablets in delivering folic acid," said study coauthor James Brooks, Ph.D., vice president of Science and Technology at Pharmavite, LLC, which conducted the study with investigators from Biofortis-Provident Clinical Research in Glen Ellyn, IL.
The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has disintegration and dissolution standards for dietary supplements. Current USP guidance exempts formulations for softgels, gelatin-based shells containing a liquid, from the dissolution standa
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