Folic Acid supplementation may reverse blood vessel damage in the brain caused by elevated homocysteine
In this animal study rats were split into 3 groups, one group was fed a regular rat diet for 10 weeks (the control group), a second group was fed homocysteine in their diet for 10 weeks, and the third group was fed the homocysteine in their diet for 10 weeks but for the last 8 weeks of their diet they also received folic acid supplementation. The homocysteine diet significantly increased plasma levels of homocysteine and free radical production, and it also inhibited the use of energy in the brain. There was an increase in the percentage of damaged blood vessels also in the brain. In the rats given homocysteine but then with added folic acid in their diets for the last 8 weeks, the plasma homocysteine levels were the same as in the control group of rats, energy transport in the brain was significantly improved compared to the homocysteine only group, and folic acid supplementation significantly decreased the percentage of blood vessels in the brain due to homocysteine. The study is published in the March 2005 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the journal of The American Society for Nutritional Sciences.
Carotenoids may decrease the risk of cancer mortality at all sites, especially colorectal cancer
A total of 3,182 subjects aged 39 years to 79 years were followed for 10.5 years in a rural area of Japan. The patients participated in check-up programs over that time. In the 10.5 years there were 287 deaths of which 134 were from cancer (81 males, 53 females). 31 died from lung cancer, 21 from colorectal cancer, 20 from stomach cancer, and 62 from other cancers. Fasting serum samples were taken at specified times and serum levels of carotenoids and other nutrients were determined by HPLC. High levels of lycopene, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene significantly reduced the risk of dying from colorectal cancers, and marginally-significantly reduced the risk of dying from cancer at all sites. The study is published in the January-March, 2005 issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.