ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
CANCER
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
Recession Scrambling Health Spending in U.S.
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
DIABETES
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
EYE CARE, VISION
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Add your Article

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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