Folate, a vitamin found in green leafy veggies, citrus fruits and fortified cereals, may decrease allergies and asthma.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH),reviewed medical records of about 8,000 patients who participated in 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES.) Serum folate levels and total IgE levels were measured. IgE, or immunoglobulin E, are antibodies that rise during allergic reactions. Asthma and respiratory symptoms were also measured.
Researcher found that patients with higher levels of folate also had lower IgE levels, fewer allergies, less wheezing and less asthma. People with the lowest folate levels had a 40 percent increased risk of wheezing, 30 percent increased risk of having elevated IgE levels, 31 percent increased risk of allergic symptoms and a 16 percent higher risk of asthma compared to those with the highest levels of folate (above 18 nanograms per milliliter of blood).
However, additional research is needed to confirm these early findings and to determine exactly how folate may work. The researchers plan to compare the effects of folic acid to placebo in people with allergies and asthma.