Navigation Links
Higher Folic Acid Levels in Teens Tied to Academic Success

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:
Related Image:
Higher Folic Acid Levels in Teens Tied to Academic Success
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, ... their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a ... new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a ... occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency ... named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. ... Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Oklahoma (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... both athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures ... Oklahoma City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ... company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that it ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," said ... increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing drugs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... faced the many challenges of the current process. Many of ... option because of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs ... would have to offer it at such a high cost ... to afford it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: