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Dietary intake of folate and the frequency of its deficiency in children with type 1 diabetes mellitus and healthy children

L. I. Dobrovolska*, O. R. Boyarchuk, M. I. Kinash

І. Horbachevsky Ternopil National Medical University,
Department of Children’s Diseases and Pediatric Surgery, Ternopil, Ukraine;
*e-mail: dobrovolska_li@tdmu.edu.ua

Received: 29 January 2022; Revised: 22 March 2022;
Accepted: 20 September 2022; Available on-line: 19 December 2022

Adequate folate intake is essential for a child’s growth. There is lack of information about the prevalence of this nutrient deficiency in the Ukrainian population, including children. The aim of the study was to evaluate the dietary intake of folate and determine the frequency of folate deficiency in children with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) and healthy children. Determination of folate in serum was performed by ELISA. Folate level <3 ng/ml was diagnosed as a folate deficiency. Among all observed children the folate deficiency was diagnosed in 23 (32.9%): in 6 (17.1%) patients with T1D and in 17 (48.6%) healthy children (P ≤ 0.01). The mean level of serum folate in patients with T1D was (5.09 ± 2.16) ng/ml and (3.72 ± 1.87) ng/ml in healthy children (P ≤ 0.01). The average daily intake of folate with food was (138.68 ± 70.37) µg, without difference between T1D (12.00 ± 3.51 yr.) and healthy groups (10.83 ± 3.24 yr.), and it was more than two times lower than age requirements (300 µg/day). However, it was self-reported that 15 (48.9%) children of T1D group received vitamin supplementation one time in six months, while in healthy children only 6 (17.1%) children received vitamins (P ≤ 0.01). In conclusion, the frequency of folate deficiency is high in the pediatric population. Nutrition does not provide the necessary intake of folate, which indicates the need for additional folate supplementation.