Supplement Shown to Be Helpful in Metformin Patients

Folic acid boosts metformin benefits on vascular endothelium in polycystic ovarian syndrome
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) taking metformin, folic acid supplementation may help enhance metformin's benefits on the vascular endothelium, and maintain homocysteine (Hcy) levels, according to research published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

Stefano Palomba, M.D., of the University "Magna Graecia" of Catanzaro in Italy, and colleagues analyzed data from 50 women with PCOS, who received 1,700 mg of metformin daily, with or without 400 µg of folic acid daily for six months.

In the group not receiving folic acid, the researchers found that serum Hcy levels were significantly higher after treatment compared to baseline, but the folic acid group had no significant change. The folic acid group showed greater improvement in brachial artery diameter at baseline and after reactive hyperemia; flow-mediated dilation; intima-media thickness; and serum endothelin-1.

"After six months of metformin treatment with supplementation with folic acid, a significant improvement was observed in all the markers of structure and function of the vascular endothelium. More interestingly, the extent of improvement in the structure and function of the endothelium was significantly different between patients who received supplementation with folic acid and subjects who received the placebo," the authors write.

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