News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Folic acid supplements not always of benefit


Folic acid supplements not always of benefit

Taking folic acid supplements in early pregnancy plays an important role in preventing spina bifida. There are some health conditions in which folic acid also has some benefits, but experts warn that its role in cancer is unclear.

Writing in the April edition of Australian Prescriber, rheumatologists Dr Serena Parker, Dr Patrick Hanrahan and Dr Claire Barrett say that there is no clear evidence that folic acid supplements in the general population reduce the risk of heart disease, dementia or cancer. In fact, there may be evidence that they increase the risk of cancer.

Folic acid is an important B vitamin found in green leafy vegetables. It is needed for making and repairing DNA, write the authors.

The Australian Government recommends that all pregnant women take a folic acid supplement of at least 400 microgram/day and also aim for a dietary intake of 600 microgram.

Folic acid supplementation should ideally begin one month before conception and be maintained for at least three months afterwards.

There is also clear evidence that the routine use of folic acid can reduce the risk of some adverse effects in patients taking methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis.

However, the authors say that taking folic acid for heart disease or dementia has not been shown to have any benefit. There is also conflicting evidence about cancer prevention.

“There is no evidence that folic acid supplementation reduces the risk of colorectal, breast or prostate cancer,” write the authors.

"Some reported studies suggest an increased risk of breast, prostate, colorectal and endometrial cancer."

Apart from pregnancy and treatment with methotrexate, most people with a healthy diet should not need to take folic acid supplements.

To read the full article and others visit www.australianprescriber.com

Other articles in this edition of Australian Prescriber include

Sex, drugs and alcohol: drug interactions of concern to consumers
Drug-induced sexual dysfunction in men and women
Metformin: myths, misunderstandings and lessons from history
Skin glues for wound closure

People with questions about their medicine can call the NPS Medicines Line (1300 MEDICINE or 1300 633 424), Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm AEST.

ENDS.

Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals, particularly doctors in general practice. It is published by NPS MedicineWise, an independent, not-for-profit organisation for quality use of medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Australian Prescriber is published every two months, in hard copy distributed to health professionals free of charge, and online in full text at www.australianprescriber.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Review: Howard Davis On Olivier Assayas' 'Personal Shopper'

Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper is stylish, mysterious, and very strange indeed. It manages to be both ghost story and suspense thriller, yet also a portrait of numbed loneliness and ennui , held together by an peculiarly inexpressive performance from ... More>>

Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news