ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
CANCER
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
Added Sugars in Diet Threaten Heart Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
Small Doses of Carbon Monoxide Might Help Stroke Victims
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Dr Churchill & Ashley Pelton Interview 1 of 4
Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Any Old Cane Won't Do
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Folic acid, also known an vitamin B9, might help treat allergies and asthma, suggests a new study.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center reviewed the medical records of more than 8,000 people, ages 2 to 85, to track the effect of folic acid levels on respiratory and allergic symptoms and on levels of IgE antibodies, the immune system markers that increase in response to an allergen.

They found that people with higher blood levels of folic acid had fewer IgE antibodies, fewer reported allergies and less wheezing and were less likely to develop asthma. The results appear in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

"Our findings are a clear indication that folic acid may indeed help regulate immune response to allergens, and may reduce allergy and asthma symptoms," Dr. Elizabeth Matsui, a pediatric allergist and the lead investigator, said in a Hopkins news release.

"But we still need to figure out the exact mechanism behind it, and to do so, we need studies that follow people receiving treatment with folic acid before we even consider supplementation with folic acid to treat or prevent allergies and asthma," she added.

Folic acid is essential for red blood cell health and has long been known to reduce the risk of spinal birth defects. Recent research has identified an association between folic acid levels and inflammation-mediated diseases, including heart disease, according to background information in the news release.

The current recommendation for folic acid intake for healthy men and non-pregnant women is 400 micrograms a day. Folic acid is found naturally in green, leafy vegetables, beans and nuts. Many cereals and grain products are fortified with folic acid.

Asthma affects more than 7 percent of adults and children in the United States, and environmental allergies affect about 25 million Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has more about allergies.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Children's Center, news release, April 30, 2009

Last Updated: April 30, 2009

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