Navigation Links
Higher Folic Acid Levels in Teens Tied to Academic Success
Date:7/11/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who have high levels of folic acid appear to do better in school than those with lower levels, Swedish researchers report.

"Folate intake had a positive association with academic achievement" in the students studied, the authors wrote in the report published in the July 11 online edition and the August print issue of Pediatrics.

Not only should health providers monitor folic acid levels in teens, but the findings should influence school meals, school teaching and information given to parents, according to the researchers.

Teens often have high levels of the blood protein homocysteine, an amino acid linked to heart disease, and low levels of folic acid. In previous studies, folic acid levels have been linked to mental ability; however, until now this had not been linked with improved school performance, the study authors said.

"We know that folate plays a really critical role in brain development and brain function," said Dr. Daniel Armstrong, associate chair of pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"We know that, in young children, folate deficiencies are associated with poorer neurocognitive function and neurocognitive development," he noted. In fact, folate deficiencies may be involved in the development of autism, he added.

Armstrong thinks that a diet rich in folate might be important for brain functioning throughout life. "It's one of those things that's no harm, no foul. It's not going to do us any harm and it might do us some good," he said.

To find out whether folate might do some good, a team led by Dr. Torbjorn K. Nilsson, from the department of laboratory medicine at Orebro University Hospital in Sweden, collected data on folic acid levels in 386 teens aged 15 years. The researchers also looked at any possible effects of socioeconomic status and genetics.

The investigators found that teens who had the highest levels of folic acid also got the best grades. None of the other factors they examined accounted for their finding, Nilsson's team noted.

"These results provide new information that points to the importance of keeping a closer watch on folate status in childhood and adolescence. They may also have direct implications for school meal provisions, school teaching programs and information to parents," the authors concluded.

However, there is no scientific evidence that taking folate supplements will be beneficial, Armstrong noted. "It's too early to say that everyone should start taking folate," he stressed.

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins and is a key component in making DNA and RNA. Insufficient folic acid is a cause of certain birth defects of the spine and brain, including spina bifida.

Among the elderly, folic acid consumption appears to affect mental ability, and low levels of this vitamin have been associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, according to several studies.

Folic acid is found in leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans, peas and nuts. In addition, people can obtain folic acid from breads, cereals and other grain products enriched with folic acid, as well as folic acid supplements.

More information

For more information on folic acid, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCE: Daniel Armstrong, M.D., professor and associate chair, pediatrics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; July 11, 2011, Pediatrics, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Stroke risk in pregnant women 2.4 times higher
2. TEMLA shows higher diagnostic yield than EBUS or EUS in largest reported series to date
3. Higher daily dose of aspirin could play key role in preventing heart attacks for those with diabetes
4. Delayed access to tertiary care associated with higher death rate from type of pulmonary fibrosis
5. Hospitals in U.S. Territories Have Higher Death Rates: Study
6. Class of Drugs Linked to Higher Heart Risk in Older Diabetics
7. Inducing labor is not associated with higher rates of cesarean sections
8. Medicaid managed care plans owned by public companies have higher administrative costs
9. Medicaid managed care plans owned by public companies have higher adminstrative costs
10. Internal bleeding higher with popular heart device than earlier model
11. Analysis finds mortality from all causes higher among hepatitis C-infected
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Higher Folic Acid Levels in Teens Tied to Academic Success
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... DMG Productions, producers of the ... in an upcoming episode, slated to air fourth quarter 2017. Check your local ... Group; a company committed to supporting dentistry using the most technologically advanced restorative ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... , ... August 18, 2017 , ... ... Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017, legislation that provides for greater public access to ... moderate hearing loss to access OTC hearing aids without being seen by a ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 19, 2017 , ... ... with contemporary illustrations of breastfeeding mothers. These illustrations show the diversity of ... in prints in a wide range of sizes. These illustrations are also available ...
(Date:8/19/2017)... ... August 19, 2017 , ... Physician Partners of ... location as an interventional pain management physician. He brings a wealth of pain ... migraine headaches, and significant experience in spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain. , ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... , ... August 18, 2017 , ... More than 20,000 ... Republic of Congo (DRC) thanks to an ambitious venture that conjoined the passions of ... the generous support of the Liberty community. These shoes will save lives from the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/10/2017)... , Aug. 10, 2017  Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN), acquired ... Lakewood, Colorado . The reputable clinic will ... , PT, DPT with his staff of four clinicians. Lipkin ... Pittsburgh and brings over 10 years of experience with a ... Belmar PT marks the 10th PRN clinic in and around ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... 7, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... as president, effective Aug. 7, 2017. ... to pursue other interests and will serve as president emeritus ... has served us in multiple leadership roles since he joined ... 2015 and has provided decisive, strategic leadership which continues to ...
(Date:8/3/2017)... , Aug. 3, 2017  Opioid addiction and other ... up healthcare costs and threatening outcomes, were problems taken ... and IVD industry that support them, met this week. ... researcher said that drugs of abuse, procalcitonin and acute ... at the organization,s 69th meeting in San ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: