Folic Acid reduces the risk of arsenic toxicity

October 19, 2007
Drinking water contaminated with the heavy metal arsenic is a problem in at least 70 countries including parts of the U.S. Chronic arsenic exposure from drinking water currently affects more than 120 million people worldwide. Arsenic also leaches out of preserved wood; a potential danger to children from playground structures. Arsenic is used in chicken to prevent intestinal parasites and a high consumption of chicken has been shown to contribute to a dangerous level of arsenic accumulation in the consumers' body. Besides causing changes in the skin arsenic causes dangerous cancers including cancers of the bladder, skin, and kidneys, and also in the lungs if inhaled. Folic acid improves methylation and methylation changes inorganic arsenic to an excretable form. In this double-blinded, placebo-controlled study giving people just 400mgc of Folic Acid a day for 12 weeks lowered the level of arsenic in their blood. The study included 130 arsenic exposed adults. The B vitamin lowered their arsenic by 13.6%. The study was performed at Colombia University and is published in the October 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.