Folate Supplementation Still Inconsistent Among Women
Despite encouragement from federal agencies to do so, a majority of women are still not supplementing with folic acid. Of the women failing to intake folic acid the greatest number are obese and non-white. Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin that fights neural tube defects. Up to 70 percent of neural tube defects of the brain and spinal cord can be prevented by consumption of folic acid by women before and during early pregnancy. For more information go to the Journal of Obstetric Gynecology and Neonatal Nursing, Volume 36, Issue 4, 2007. Click here for more information.
Folic Acid May Reduce Stroke Risk
Folic acid supplementation is popularly known as a way of protecting against birth defects, but recent research suggests it could also be beneficial to adults by significantly reducing their risk of suffering a stroke. A meta analysis published in June concluded that people can cut their risk of a stroke by a fifth by increasing their intake of folic acid. Additional research is needed to confirm these findings. For more details go to the journal Lancet, June 2007. Click here for more information.
Folic Acid Supplements May Prevent Cleft Lip and Palate In Infants
Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, part of the National Institutes of Health, conducted a study to show the role of folic acid supplements taken by women during early pregnancy in preventing facial clefts amongst newborns. The research was conducted in Norway, where researchers asked pregnant women to fill out a questionnaire about their general health information, smoking and drinking habits as well as their vitamin intake. This study included 377 infants with cleft lip with or without cleft palate, 196 infants with cleft palate alone, as well as 763 control babies randomly selected from all live births in Norway. When all was said and done, researchers concluded that folic acid supplements during early pregnancy (400 micrograms) seem to reduce the risk of isolated cleft lip (with or without cleft palate) by about a third. Researchers also concluded that other vitamins and dietary factors may provide additional benefit. Further research on the impact of women taking folic acid supplements early in their pregnancy would help bring strength to the findings of this study. For more information go to the British Medical Journal, March 2007.
Folate and Vitamin B12 Decrease Risk of Breast Cancer
A study released by the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica and Harvard School of Public Health observed the effects of folate intake among 1,391 Mexican women. The study uncovered a lower incidence of breast cancer among postmenopausal women who took folate and vitamin B12. The study concluded that high intakes of these two supplements were associated with decreased breast cancer risk, particularly in postmenopausal women. These findings could be supported with additional research. Source: The Journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, Volume 15, March 2006. Read More.
Folic Acid Supplementation Still Important for Pregnancy
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center on Birth Defects revealed that, despite the use of folic acid-fortified foods, pregnant women should still use a folic acid supplement. The study, which observed a cross-section of more than 9,000 pregnant females in southern California, revealed that those with lowest vitamin use had the lowest levels of folic acid. Source: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 194, Issue 2, February 2006. Read More.
Breast Cancer Risk May Be Reduced by the Intake of Dietary Folate
Recently, researchers evaluated the effect of dietary folate intake on the relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. Alcohol consumption is a known, moderate risk factor for breast cancer. Using data on diet and alcohol consumption gathered from a large number of women through the Melbourne collaborative cohort study from 1990-1994, the scientists concluded that an adequate dietary intake of folate might protect against the increased risk of breast cancer associated with alcohol consumption. Further research in this area would help to confirm these findings. Source: British Medical Journal, August 2005. Read More.
Folate And B12 Effective In Cutting Fracture Risk Following Stroke
According to a research study conducted in Japan, the intake of the supplements folate and vitamin B12 appears to reduce the risk of hip fractures in elderly patients following a stroke. According to the authors of the study, stroke increases the risk of subsequent hip fracture by 2 to 4 times. 628 patients aged 65 or older participated in this double-blind, randomized controlled study. More studies are needed before the research can be widely promoted as conclusive. Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 293, March 2005. Read More.
Folic Acid Intake Associated With A Decreased Risk Of Developing High Blood Pressure
Researchers recently set out to determine whether a higher folate intake is associated with a lower risk of incident hypertension. The study involved one large group of women ages 27 to 44 and another ages 43 to 70. None of the women had a history of high blood pressure. The women recorded their folate intake and pertinent health information over an eight-year period of time. After analyzing all of the data, scientists concluded that a higher folate intake was associated with a decreased risk of incident hypertension, particularly in younger women. More research is needed before concluding with certainty that women should increase their consumption of folate. Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 293, 2005. Read More.
Folate And Carotenoid Deficiencies Associated With Rising Heart Disease Levels In Central And Eastern Europe
Researchers recently conducted a survey of coronary mortality in 16 countries and diet in 19 countries to see if lower intakes of identified cardioprotective nutrients would be associated with the coronary epidemic in Central and Eastern Europe. Based on their analysis they concluded that a diet containing low levels of folate and carotenoids may be a major contributing factor to elevated coronary risk seen in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Folate is a part of the B complex vitamin group and carotenoids are a class of natural fat-soluble pigments found principally in plant foods. Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 104, Issue 12, 2004. Read More.
Folate Intake Appears To Lower Blood Pressure In Women
According to research presented at the American Heart Association's 58th Annual High Blood Pressure Conference, young women who consume more than 800 micrograms of folate per day can cut their risk of developing high blood pressure by almost a third compared to those who take in less than 200 micrograms per day. Folate is a B vitamin required by women to prevent birth defects in their babies. Source: www.americanheart.org. Read More.
B Vitamins May Help Decrease The Risk Of Stroke
According to researchers from Harvard, the long-term dietary intake of folate and vitamin B12 may help decrease the risk of ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke is the most common kind of stroke caused by an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain. Source: Stroke, Volume 35, 2004. Read More.
Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk May Be Reduced By The Intake Of Folate
According to Swedish researchers, consuming high levels of dietary folate may reduce the risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer; cancer that occurs in the cells lining the ovaries. They also discovered that the protective effect of folate may even be more pronounced in women who drink more than two alcoholic beverages per week. To arrive at their conclusions, researchers analyzed medical data from approximately 61,000 women between the ages of 36-76. Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 96, March 2004. Read More.
Too Few Women Aware Of The Benefits Of Folic Acid
According to the Gallup Organization, recent poll results show that only 29 percent of women, age 18 to 45, reported taking a daily multi-vitamin containing folic acid and just 19 percent know that the B vitamin prevents birth defects. The poll also showed that the awareness surrounding the benefits of folic acid compared to 1995 is only fair. The poll involved 10,000 women over a six-year period of time. Source: HSR Health Supplement Retailer, November 2001.
Possible Link Between Depression And Lower Folic Acid Concentrations In Humans
A recent study, using participants between the age of 15 and 39, who either had no depression, major depression or mild depression had their folate red blood cell concentrations measured. Those participants with major depression had folate serum and red blood cell concentrations that were lower than those who had never been depressed. Source: www.naturalproductsinsider.com. Read More.
Study Suggests That Folic Acid And Vitamin B6 May Help Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Recently, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found evidence that the intake of folic acid and vitamin B6 contributes to the lowering of a woman's risk of getting breast cancer. The researchers also found that folic acid itself appears to protect women who are at an increased risk of breast cancer caused by alcohol consumption. Even though more research is needed to further support the findings, they suggest that women who want to protect themselves against the breast disease should pay particular attention to their folic acid and B6 intake. Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 95, No. 5, pp. 373-380. Read More.
Folate Fights Heart Disease
The B vitamin, folic acid, has recently received a lot of attention for lowering blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid made in the body which damages the lining of blood vessels. Most of the data for this has been generated from looking back at people with heart disease or from experimental studies in laboratories. A prospective study in which participants were all healthy to start and were followed for 12-16 years was reported in the November 27, 2000 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.