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Archived Comments for: Severe experimental folate deficiency in a human subject – a longitudinal study of biochemical and haematological responses as megaloblastic anaemia develops

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  1. Experimental Folate Deficiency

    Jack Metz, Nil

    26 November 2014

    The author is to be congratulated on a brave and very comprehensive self-experiment and for adhering to such an unpalatable diet for so long.

    The study demonstrates elegantly that in an individual who is a vegetarian and has subsisted  on a food folate fortified diet and has folate overload, and then ingests a folate deficient diet, there is a considerable period of time before the morbid effects of folate deficiency become manifest. This finding correlates with the now rarity of folate deficiency seen in populations consuming a folate fortified diet, and is a significant contribution to knowledge.

    The author compares the results of his study to that undertaken in 1961 by Victor Herbert, a non-vegetarian consuming a diet before the introduction of food folate fortification, and whose folate stores were normal. In the Herbert self-experiment, folate deficiency developed much sooner than in the current study. It is clear then that Herbert's data would not apply to vegetarians and/or subjects consuming a folate fortifed diet.

    The author has demonstrated the apparent ability of the liver to store unlimited quantities of folate without apparent morbidity.[

    Competing interests

  2. Experimental Folate Deficiency

    Paul Golding, None

    2 December 2014

    I wish to thank Jack Metz for taking the time to read my articles and post his comment; I hope that his insights will help readers to place my findings in context.

    Emeritus Professor Jack Metz is a highly regarded expert on folate deficiency anaemia, with an international reputation. He worked with the late Victor Herbert, whose own self-experiment inspired mine, and he was in Herbert’s lab during that experiment. Professor Metz co-authored several articles with Herbert, as well as numerous others. Here is a link to his web page, where you can read more about him:

    Here are links to the PubMed pages for articles by Professor Metz, and those co-authored with Victor Herbert:

    Paul Henry Golding

    Unit 5, 18 Webster Road, Nambour, QLD 4560 Australia

    Competing interests

    The author has no competing interests.