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Aditi J Aditi J
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July 29, 2007
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What is a folate trap?

plz add details if u know ne.......plz answer dis as soon as possible
Doctor  J by Doctor J
Member since:
February 14, 2006
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57,409 (Level 7)

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

The folate trap involves the 'folate cycle'.

Here is the 'folate cycle' (which is typically drawn in a circle):

Tetrahydrofolate (TH4) -> 5,10 Methylene-TH4 -> Methyltetrahydrofolate -> Tetrahydrofolate (TH4)

This is a 'cycle' because TH4 (the starting point) is regenerated.

The problem that can lead to the 'folate trap' is that the last step of the cycle, the conversion of methytetrahydrolfolate to TH4 (the enzyme is methylene - tetrahydro - folate - reductase - MTHFR), requires Vitamin B12. In the absence of B12 (Vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common, especially in the elderly), the folate cycle gets 'trapped' at methyltetrahydrofolate and can't continue to regenerate TH4.

High doses of supplemental folate can 'mask' the effects of B12 deficiency by compensating for the trapped folate (as methyltetrahydrofolate). So, high doses of folate can mask the anemia that would result from a severe B12 deficiency. Chronic B12 deficiency has serious consequences (even without the anemia) such as damage to the nervous system and the creation of a peripheral neuropathy.

Hope this was helpful. Best wishes.
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Other Answers (1)

  • k j by k j
    Member since:
    November 05, 2007
    Total points:
    106 (Level 1)
    basically to put it simply folate comes in from the diet and is needed to make a molecule for example purine in dna..however the pathway to use folate goes through a pathway from folate in the diet which then joined to a hydorxymethyl group (CH2OH) of serine to make N5,N10 hydroxymethylene FH4. This substrate however instead of carrying on and making N5,N10 methenyl-FH4 and consequently N10-formyl FH4 to incorporate into purine it is instead a substrate for an irreversible reaction to make N5-methyl FH4. The reason this N5-methyl FH4 is made is to convert a potentially toxic substrate homocysteine in the cell back to methionine and uses an enzyme (methionine synthase) which requires vitiman B12 as a cofactor. . (This homocysteine is a product of S-adenosylmethionine which is an essential methylation reagent for several critical reactions including the methylation of nucleic acids, protein residues and epinephrine). So the folate trap therefore is that the reaction that creates the substrate is irreversible and the conversion of homocystiene to methionine requires a cofactor (Vitiman B12) that may not be availableto convert this so the folate remains trapped as N5-methyl FH4.
    If the cofactor Vit B12 is present then all is good, methionine can be made and FH4 is released and can be incorporated into serine to become the N5,N10-methylene FH4.
    I hope this answers your question..:D good luck!
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