Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, may suppress allergic reactions and alleviate the severity of allergy and asthma symptoms, according to a new study.
Scientists from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center arrived at this conclusion after reviewing the medical records of more than 8,000 people aged two to 85 and tracking the effects of folate levels on respiratory and allergic symptoms.
They also looked closely the levels of IgE antibodies which rise in response to an allergen.
The researchers found people with higher blood levels of folate had fewer IgE antibodies, fewer reported allergies, less wheezing and lower likelihood of asthma.
Lead investigator Dr. Elizabeth Matsui, a pediatric allergist at Hopkins Children’s says the findings indicated that folic acid may help regulate immune response to allergens and reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
They furthermore add to mounting evidence that folate can help regulate inflammation.
Folic acid is also essential for red blood cell health and has long been known to reduce the risk of spinal birth defects.
According to the CDC, asthma affects more than 7 percent of adults and children in the U.S. is the most common chronic condition among children.