Previous in vitro studies using Caco-2 cell monolayers suggested a possible interaction between green and black tea and folic acid at the level of intestinal absorption. The main purpose of the present study was to investigate a possible pharmacokinetic interaction between tea and folic acid in healthy volunteers. In an open-labeled randomized cross-over study, the pharmacokinetic interaction between tea and folic acid (0.4 mg and 5 mg) was investigated in healthy volunteers. Water was used as the reference drink. Subjects ingested 0.4 mg folic acid tablets with water, green or black tea (0.3 g extract/250 ml) or 5 mg folic acid tablets with water or green tea (0.3 g extract/250 ml). Blood samples were collected over a period of 8 h. Serum folate analysis was carried out by a competitive immunoassay which uses direct chemiluminescent technology. At the 0.4 mg folic acid dose, green and black tea reduced the mean Cmax of serum folate by 39.2% and 38.6%, and the mean AUC0 → ∞ by 26.6% and 17.9%, respectively. At the 5 mg folic acid dose, the mean Cmax of serum folate was reduced by 27.4% and the mean AUC0 → ∞ was decreased significantly by 39.9% by the co-application of green tea. The present results suggest an in vivo interaction between tea and folic acid with even low concentrations of green and black tea extracts yielding decreased bioavailabilities of folic acid. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.