According to a new University of Wisconsin study, folic acid supplements may help improve the condition of patients with severe brain and spinal cord injuries.
Using a rodent model, lead author Bermans Iskandar and her colleagues discovered that folic acid was capable of promoting nerve cell regeneration through a newly discovered molecular pathway in subjects with severe neurological injuries.
In an accompanying editorial, Matthias Endres and Golo Kronenberg, of the Humboldt University Medical School in Berlin, Germany, admit that while the findings are preliminary, they provide a basis for testing whether folic acid supplementation is worthwhile in individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries and brain trauma.
Meanwhile, a separate study has found that fewer than 24 percent of women of childbearing age are meeting the daily folic acid minimum intake recommended by the United States Public Health Service and Institute of Medicine, according to ScienceNews.org.
Mothers who do not consume enough folic acid or vitamin B9 are known to be at an increased risk of giving birth to children with neurological defects.
In the study, nearly 75 percent of women who took a nutritional supplement received at least the minimum daily allowance of the nutrient.