[Does folic acid have effects on other health problems than neural tube defects?].Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2005 Feb 17; 125(4):438-41.TN
While it is widely accepted that periconceptional supplement of 400 microg (microgram) folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects in pregnancy, it remains to be established whether folic acid has other beneficial effects on larger population groups. Evidence concerning effect of increased intake on cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases has recently been evaluated in a report to the Directorate of Health and Social Welfare in Norway.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Research reports published mainly from 1998 to 2003 on folic acid intake and disease have been evaluated.
Sufficient evidence that increased folic acid intake may prevent cancer or cardiovascular diseases is not yet available, hence at present there is no indication for recommending augmented intake for other groups than fertile women. However, several intervention studies with folic acid supplementation are in progress to establish its effect on cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.
If the ongoing intervention studies show a beneficial clinical effect on cardiovascular disease, it would be a further argument for fortification of foods, in addition to reducing the risk of neural tube defects in pregnancy.