Navigation Links
Health benefits, consequences of folic acid dependent on circumstances
Date:4/1/2009

Boston, MA and Washington, D.C.April 1, 2009For the past several decades, evidence has shown that greater dietary intake of the B-vitamin, folate, offers protection against the development of certain common cancers and reduces neural tube defects in newborns, opening new avenues for public health interventions that have a great impact on health. However, folate's central role as an essential factor in DNA synthesis also means that abundant availability of the vitamin can enhance the development of pre-cancerous and cancerous tumors. Further, the intake of folic acid that results from consuming foods that are voluntarily fortified (e.g.: ready-to-eat cereals) in combination with the additional intake received from mandatory fortification of flour means that supplementary intake of folic acid is unnecessary for many segments of the population, and may even present a risk. Nevertheless, the issue is a complicated one since women of child-bearing age seem to benefit from supplemental folic acid in regard to its protection against birth defects. In the April issue of the journal Nutrition Reviews, two new articles by Omar Dary, Ph.D., and Joel B. Mason, M.D., assess the conditions under which folic acid can be beneficial and harmful and contribute to guidelines for the healthful intake of folic acid as a complement to dietary folate.

The consequences of inadequate folate intake remain prevalent in many countries, even in industrial countries where specific interventions of folic acid have not been implemented. Moreover, there continues to be some concernwhich, to date, lacks compelling scientific evidencethat the synthetic form of the vitamin, folic acid, might have adverse effects that do not exist with natural sources of folate.

Under most circumstances, adequate intake of folate appears to assume the role of a protective agent against cancer, most notably colorectal cancer. However, in select circumstances in which an individual who harbors a pre-cancerous or cancerous tumor consumes too much folic acid, the additional amounts of folate may instead facilitate the promotion of cancer. In countries in which the fortification of flour with folic acid is working well, additional supplementation in the form of vitamin pills can lead to excessive intakes of the vitamin, which can then have undesirable adverse effects.

Thus, folate appears to assume different guises depending on the circumstances. The level of intake of this micronutrient that is safe for one person may be potentially harmful to another.

"These effects of folate on the risk of developing cancer have created a global dilemma in the efforts to institute nationwide folic acid fortification programs around the world," Mason notes.

Most individuals in the U.S. population are now folate-replete, so one consideration would be to reduce the doses of the vitamin that are present in most over-the-counter supplements. Many people receive sufficient amounts of folate through their diet.

Now that the supply of folic acid in the diet is much larger than it was prior to mandatory fortification, food policies may need to be adjusted to the current knowledge and the new circumstances.

"The design of cogent public health policies that effectively optimize health for many while presenting no or minimal risk to others, must often occur in the absence of complete information," Mason concludes. "However, we are nevertheless obliged to deliberate with as much of an in-depth understanding as the existing science allows."


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Molnar
professionalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net
201-748-8844
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study finds blocking angiogenesis signaling from inside cell may lead to serious health problems
2. Youre likely to order more calories at a healthy restaurant
3. UC health news: molecular pathway may predict chemotherapy effectiveness
4. Genes, Environment and Health Initiative invests in genetic studies, environmental monitoring
5. UCR engineers to develop new tool to measure how environmental exposures affect health
6. Researchers developing device to predict proper light exposure for human health
7. Thousands of starving children could be restored to health with peanut butter program
8. Smithsonian researchers develop models to assess wetland health
9. AIBS to cohost symposium on evolution, disease and human health
10. NASA celebrates a decade observing climate impacts on health of worlds oceans
11. Conference to examine role technology can play in helping US manage healthcare costs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... BANGALORE, India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a ... ), and Onegini today announced a partnership to ... banking solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... banks to provide their customers enhanced security to ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment ... on the heels of the deployment of its platform ... BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... March 23, 2016 ... Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender Anbieter ... Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals dessen ... wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen mobiler ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... that Ardy Arianpour has joined the company as Chief Business Officer. Arianpour, a ... innovative genomic technologies to market, was most recently Chief Commercial Officer of Pathway ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... Mr. Palmer created the RPO business for ... multi-million dollar, multi-year managed services contract in the U.S. intelligence community with The SI ... team,” said John Younger, founder of Accolo. “We are growing and his experience ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Seattle based non-profit, The Institute for Venture ... The grant will be used to further the scientific research goals of the ... http://www.ivsci.org , In accounting the grant to the IVS, Mr. Glenn Estrabillo ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... ... the opening of its first round of pre-proposal competition for scientific grants. , ... seeks to identify ideas with the highest potential to replace paradigms that have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: