Navigation Links
Hopkins Children's study: Folic acid may help treat allergies, asthma
Date:4/29/2009

Folic acid, or vitamin B9, essential for red blood cell health and long known to reduce the risk of spinal birth defects, may also suppress allergic reactions and lessen the severity of allergy and asthma symptoms, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

In what is believed to be the first study in humans examining the link between blood levels of folate the naturally occurring form of folic acid and allergies, the Hopkins scientists say results add to mounting evidence that folate can help regulate inflammation. Recent studies, including research from Hopkins, have found a link between folate levels and inflammation-mediated diseases, including heart disease. A report on the Hopkins Children's findings appears online ahead of print in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

Cautioning that it's far too soon to recommend folic acid supplements to prevent or treat people with asthma and allergies, the researchers emphasize that more research needs to be done to confirm their results, and to establish safe doses and risks.

Reviewing the medical records of more than 8,000 people ages 2 to 85 the investigators tracked the effect of folate levels on respiratory and allergic symptoms and on levels of IgE antibodies, immune system markers that rise in response to an allergen. People with higher blood levels of folate had fewer IgE antibodies, fewer reported allergies, less wheezing and lower likelihood of asthma, researchers report.

"Our findings are a clear indication that folic acid may indeed help regulate immune response to allergens, and may reduce allergy and asthma symptoms," says lead investigator Elizabeth Matsui, M.D. M.H.S., pediatric allergist at Hopkins Children's. "But we still need to figure out the exact mechanism behind it, and to do so we need studies that follow people receiving treatment with folic acid, before we even consider supplementation with folic acid to treat or prevent allergies and asthma."

The current recommendation for daily dietary intake of folic acid is 400 micrograms for healthy men and non-pregnant women. Many cereals and grain products are already fortified with folate, and folate is found naturally in green, leafy vegetables, beans and nuts.

Other findings of the study:

  • People with the lowest folate levels (below 8 nanograms per milliliter) had 40 percent higher risk of wheezing than people with the highest folate levels (above 18 ng/ml).
  • People with the lowest folate levels had a 30 percent higher risk than those with the highest folate levels of having elevated IgE antibodies, markers of allergy predisposition.
  • Those with the lowest folate levels had 31 percent higher risk of atopy (allergic symptoms) than people with the highest folate levels.
  • Those with lowest folate levels had 16 percent higher risk of having asthma than people with the highest folate levels.

Blacks and Hispanics had lower blood folate levels 12 and 12.5 nanograms per milliliter, respectively than whites (15 ng/ml), but the differences were not due to income and socio-economic status.

The Hopkins team is planning a study comparing the effects of folic acid and placebo in people with allergies and asthma.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-516-4996
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Ex-White House Drug Czar McCaffrey, U.S. Congress Drug Caucus Chair Cummings, CRC Health CEO Karlin Join Hopkins Researchers at News Conference April 17 on Breakthrough Study: Internet Video Drug Treatment as Effective as Traditional Counseling
2. Three Johns Hopkins researchers named Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientists
3. Johns Hopkins safety team works to eliminate bloodstream infections in the nation and the world
4. MedVance Institute Promotes John L. Hopkins to Chairman of the Board of Directors
5. Johns Hopkins leads first 12-patient, multicenter domino donor kidney transplant
6. New Johns Hopkins imaging center to widen windows on the brain
7. Johns Hopkins researchers discover new schizophrenia gene
8. Hopkins transplant surgeons remove healthy kidney through donors vagina
9. MEMOTEXT Collaborating with Johns Hopkins University To Evaluate Technology-Driven Adherence Programs
10. Hopkins-led team solves failed vaccine mystery
11. Posit Science Invited to Speak at Johns Hopkins University About Cutting Edge Cognitive Training Interventions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 07, 2016 , ... The Cliff Hart Agencies, a Michigan-based ... Dewitt, Williamston, East Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Farmington Hills, is announcing a regional ... tumor. , Jason Bauer and his family are longtime members of the Williamston ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... , ... A. Kevin Spann Insurance, a New York-based firm offering insurance and ... a charity drive to raise funds that will benefit the Marine Corps League. , ... Navy FMF Corpsmen. Working closely with the MCL, the A. Kevin Spann team plans ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Delete® - Tattoo Removal ... For The Holiday Party Season. Save Up To 33% Off Botox® and Juvederm® Products ... providing the Phoenix Valley with Delightful Deals on Botox® and Juvederm® just ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... Gensuite is ... Awards under the Best New Product Launch category. Gensuite’s entry on their EZ ... , BOC Global Events & Training Group is a professional event and training ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... “Walking With God: Inspirational ... that will inspire the reader to be aware of God's direction in their lives. ... author, Sanford Smith, retired teacher and active church leader. , Sanford says, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... --  Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ... the ralinepag phase 2 trial.  Ralinepag is an oral, ... the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The study ... "This marks an important step in the development of ... our pipeline," said Amit Munshi , Arena,s President ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... Dec. 7, 2016 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) has ... Homecare Federation, At-Home IV Infusion Professional, BioRx, MedPro Rx, and XAS ... services, visit diplomat.is/specialty-infusion .  ... Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy (PRNewsFoto/Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc.) ... "As we continue to build on the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... , Dec. 7, 2016   Rx Savings Solutions ... and its Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) to ... to their innovative healthcare software, ultimately saving money on their ... and provide its members with access to our software that ... more effective, affordable therapy can be found," says Michael ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: