The effect of suboptimal folate nutrtion on the growing infant was studied in a population of infants fed a diet based on boiled, pasteurised cows' milk. One group of infants received a daily supplement of 1 mg folic acid from age 2 months, while the other group received a placebo. The infants were seen at bimonthly intervals. In the supplemented group the red cell folate level had increased to twice its pretreatment value by 4 months, and remained at this high level to the end of the first year. Hb concentration and incidence of anaemia were similar in both groups. The incidence of infection in the two groups did not differ. Weights and lengths attained at 6 months, and the rate of gain from 2 to 6 months were higher in infants whose folate levels were above the median value than in those below it. In the second half of the first year the differences between the two groups were no longer evident.
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