October 10, 2011 |
Some dietary supplements are associated with an increased risk of death in older women, according to a study released Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In an analysis of about 39,000 women tracked over 19 years, researchers led by a team at the University of Minnesota found that those who took multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper and especially iron died at higher rates during the course of the study than those who did not take supplements.
February 10, 2011 |
Folate is a valuable nutrient, especially for pregnant women. Studies show adequate intake of folate -- or folic acid -- just before pregnancy and during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of spinal cord defects. However, a new study shows one thing folate apparently can't do: lower the risk of preterm birth. Researchers have long wondered if the amount of folate in the diet would have an impact on preterm birth. One previous study suggested that it might help. Preterm birth is a big problem in the United States, with about 12% of babies born too early.
December 13, 2010 |
Folic acid has been added to grain products for more than a decade in order to boost intake among women of reproductive age. The supplementation was endorsed after studies showed adequate levels of folic acid are necessary to prevent spinal cord defects and other birth defects. But a new study suggests everyone except reproductive age women are getting plenty of the nutrient. Researchers in Canada examined the folate status of Canadians of all ages. Like the United States, Canada adds folic acid to grain products.
July 20, 2009 |
Allergies are on the rise, experts know. What they don't know is why. The most popular theory is the so-called hygiene hypothesis. It holds that our culture's addiction to cleanliness, antiseptics and antibiotics prevents our immune systems from developing the ability to ward off real infections. Our bodies then end up overreacting to things they should be ignoring.
May 12, 2009 |
Taking folic acid supplements for a year before conception reduces the risk of very premature birth by at least 50%, researchers reported Monday. Shorter courses of the supplement were not as effective, according to the study of nearly 35,000 women reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine. Folic acid's effectiveness in reducing the risk of neural-tube and other birth defects -- even without such a long course -- is long established.
May 11, 2009 |
Folic acid is one of those great public health success stories. In the decade that followed the fortification of cereal grains and other foods, along with educational campaigns, the rate of certain birth defects dropped dramatically. As studies beginning in the 1980s started showing that folic acid could also help prevent some cancers, it started to seem like a wonder-vitamin. Now, however, folic acid's heyday may be over.