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Category: Allergy Testing
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, may help regulate inflammation and possibly reduce the severity of allergy and asthma symptoms, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
The researchers examined the link between folate - the naturally occurring form of folic acid - and IgE antibodies, parts of the immune system that rise in response to an allergen in the medical records of 8,000 people ages 2 to 85. They reported that people with higher blood levels of folate had fewer IgE antibodies, fewer reported allergies, less wheezing and a lower likelihood of asthma. The findings appear online ahead of print in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.
"Our findings are a clear indication that folic acid may indeed help regulate immune response to allergens," said lead investigator Dr Elizabeth Matsui, a pediatric allergist at Hopkins Childrens, "But we still need to figure out the exact mechanism behind it."
Low-levels of folate have already been linked to various inflammation-mediated diseases, including heart disease.
The current recommended daily dietary intake of folic acid is 400 micrograms for healthy adults who are not pregnant. Many cereals and grain products are fortified with folate, and it is found naturally in green, leafy vegetables, beans and nuts.
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