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

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.


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

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