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:12/7/2016)... -- BioCatch , the global leader in behavioral biometrics, ... grew to over 40 granted and pending patents. ... , , The Company,s IP ... System, Device, and Method Estimating Force Applied to a Touch Surface, ... costly hardware components needed to estimate the force and pressure applied to ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 2016   Veridium , a leader in ... new CEO James Stickland . Stickland, a ... experience, has served in senior executive roles for ... in expanding a pipeline of venture capital and ... recently served as managing director of U.K.-based fintech ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... Valencell , the leading innovator in performance biometric ... consecutive year of triple digit growth for its PerformTek ... 360 percent increase in companies who have acquired Valencell ... sales of its wrist and ear Benchmark™ sensor systems, ... hearables for fitness and healthcare applications. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or "the ... to announce that Biohaven has issued today the following ... (PRWEB) Dec 9, 2016 - Biohaven Pharmaceutical ... that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has ... drug candidate BHV-0223, an orally dissolving tablet being developed ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  OncoSec Medical Incorporated ("OncoSec") ... DNA-based intratumoral cancer immunotherapies, today announced financial results ... "We are delivering on our commitment to ... ImmunoPulse® IL-12. We are pleased with the early ... trial, and we are focused on advancing our ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Eurofins announces the appointment of Sean Murray , ... Inc. (ESI). Mr. Murray will bring valuable expertise ... experience in leading international business teams. As the National Division Leader, ... uphold Eurofins, status as the global leader in bio-analytical testing services. ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda BioMed S.L., ... development of the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system for the ... of Tudor G. Jovin, MD to join its Scientific ... as a strategic network of scientific and clinical experts ... development of the ANCD BRAIN ® to its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: