Bioavailability studies of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) from different food stuffs, as well as from pharmaceutical preparations are of great importance for the calculation of nutrient intake and/or the evaluation of the therapeutic value.
In practice, bioavailability studies are not generally performed on a standardized level. For this reason basic criterions are presented and discussed. Finally, the investigation of the bioavailability of folate is demonstrated by an example. The parameters investigated are: the maximal concentration (cmax), the time to reach this maximum (tmax), and especially the bioavailability ratio determined from the area under the curve (AUC) after administration of the folic acid containing test and reference preparation.
The results indicate that 5-formyl-tetrahydrofolic acid given in the tested form has nearly the same bioavailability (ratio: 1.02) as folic acid (pteroylmonoglutamic acid) in aqueous solution.