Sub-50 oral contraceptives affect folate kinetics

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1993;36(4):230-3. doi: 10.1159/000292635.


The effects of long-term use of oral contraceptives containing less than 50 micrograms of estrogen (sub-50 OCs) on the kinetics of folic acid monoglutamate, vitamin B12 levels, and iron status have been studied in 29 OC users (Marvelon) and in 13 women without OC use serving as controls. At 210 min after oral folate loading the median serum folate concentration was significantly lower in OC users when compared to the control group. OC users showed significantly higher total iron binding capacity and significantly lower serum vitamin B12 concentrations. This data demonstrates that sub-50 OCs significantly affect folate kinetics and vitamin B12 levels. However, the folate and vitamin B12 status does not seem to be at risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraceptives, Oral / administration & dosage*
  • Contraceptives, Oral / chemistry
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / blood*
  • Folic Acid / urine
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood


  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Folic Acid
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B 12