The Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) project is designed to provide evidence-based advice to anyone with an interest in the role of nutrition in health. Specifically, the BOND program provides state-of-the-art information and service with regard to selection, use, and interpretation of biomarkers of nutrient exposure, status, function, and effect. To accomplish this objective, expert panels are recruited to evaluate the literature and to draft comprehensive reports on the current state of the art with regard to specific nutrient biology and available biomarkers for assessing nutrients in body tissues at the individual and population level. Phase I of the BOND project includes the evaluation of biomarkers for 6 nutrients: iodine, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin B-12. This review represents the second in the series of reviews and covers all relevant aspects of folate biology and biomarkers. The article is organized to provide the reader with a full appreciation of folate's history as a public health issue, its biology, and an overview of available biomarkers (serum folate, RBC folate, and plasma homocysteine concentrations) and their interpretation across a range of clinical and population-based uses. The article also includes a list of priority research needs for advancing the area of folate biomarkers related to nutritional health status and development.
Keywords: BOND; RBC folate; folate biomarkers; homocysteine; serum folate.
© 2015 American Society for Nutrition.