Thursday, April 30, 2009

Folate's Role in Regulating Inflammation & Allergies

Our customers have long gotten the value of folic acid (also known as folate), B6, and B12 for reducing homocysteine levels and protecting heart health, as our B-Trio Chewable formula is a consistent top seller.

It was interesting to read this morning that Johns Hopkins Children's Center researchers 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.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins believe their research supports growing evidence that folate regulates inflammation in the body. They found that people with higher blood levels of folate had fewer IgE antibodies, fewer reported allergies, less wheezing, and lower likelihood of asthma. They also found that:

  • 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.
There's pollen in the air and more to come as climates keep warming up. For those of you with allergies who want to start taking supplemental folate, it's important to know that high intake of folic acid can mask vitamin B12 deficiencies, thus you'll want to consider the value of taking these two water-soluble vitamins together.

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