The effects of folate deficiency, generalized malnutrition, and alcohol ingestion on jejunal transport, mucosal uptake, and reduction of folic acid were evaluated in rats. As measured by an everted gut sac technique, a folate-deficient diet fed ad libitum did not alter transport or mucosal uptake of folate. Partial starvation, which was produced in rats pairfed with animals ingesting ethanol, increased jejunal folate transport and mucosal uptake in animals ingesting either a folate-deficient or control diet. A 20% ethanol ingestion by rats consuming folate-deficient or control diets resulted in transport and mucosal uptake rates intermediate in value compared to those from ad libitum fed and pair-fed groups. No differences in reduction of folic acid were found. These results suggest that folate depletion and ethanol ingestion, alone or in combination, do not affect the ability of the rat jejunum to transport folate but that partial starvation results in an increase in folate transport activity.
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