Does folic acid supplementation affect body weight or body mass index? A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial

Neda Haghighat, Behzad Nazarian, Cain C T Clark, Ladan Aghakhani

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Background & Aims: Folic acid is a widely used supplement, with numerous purported health benefits. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of folic acid on body weight (BW) and/or body mass index (BMI). 
    Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluated the effects of folic acid supplementation BW or BMI in 514 participants. A systematic search, current as of March 2021, was performed in PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, and Embase using relevant keywords to identify eligible studies. A fixed-effects model was used to estimate the weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
    Results: 11 RCTs were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled analysis revealed that folic acid supplementation did not affect BW (WMD: 0.16 kg; 95% CI: -0.77 to 1.10; p = 0.727, I²= 0.0%, p = 1.00) and BMI (WMD: 0.05 kg/m2; 95% CI: -0.08 to 0.19; p = 0.447, I²= 0.0%, p = 0.666). 
    Conclusions: Folic acid supplementation did not significantly impact body weight or BMI. Future large-scale RCTs, on various dosages and durations of intervention, are needed to elucidate the effects more clearly.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)642-650
    Number of pages9
    JournalCurrent Nutrition and Food Science
    Volume19
    Issue number6
    Early online date23 Nov 2022
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

    Keywords

    • folic acid
    • folate
    • body weight
    • body mass index
    • obesity
    • meta-analysis

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