May 26, 2024

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Too much folic acid supplementation will increase DNA mutations and epigenetic changes

Too much folic acid supplementation will increase DNA mutations and epigenetic changes



 

Too much folic acid supplementation will increase DNA mutations and epigenetic changes.

 
Folic acid supplementation in pregnant women is known to significantly reduce the risk of birth defects in babies, including neural tube defects such as spina bifida, the most common central nervous system birth defect and the second most common of all structural birth defects.

 More than 80 countries, including the United States, established mandatory folic acid food fortification programs 25 years ago with remarkable success.

 

In reality, however, a subset of people consume more than the daily recommended amount of 0.4 mg of folic acid through dietary supplements. 

But there is a lack of research on whether excessive intake of folic acid is potentially harmful to humans.

 

Recently, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and Fudan University and others  published a paper entitled: Excess folic acid intake increases DNA de novo point mutations in the journal Cell Discovery .

The study showed that intake of too little or too much folic acid increased DNA mutation rates and epigenetic modifications ( genome-wide methylation) . This suggests that folic acid supplementation should be limited to an ideal range.

 

Too much folic acid supplementation will increase DNA mutations and epigenetic changes

 

 

Following some previous reports showing adverse effects of excessive folic acid intake in humans, in this study, the research team explored the effect of folic acid supplementation on DNA mutation rate and epigenetic modification (genome-wide methylation) in a mouse model potential impact.

 

The mice received one of three folate-supplemented diets, a low dose (0.3 mg/kg) , a control dose (3 mg/kg) , and a high dose (30 mg/kg) . 

After conversion of the control dose, it is equivalent to one-fourth to one-half of the daily recommended amount of folic acid of 0.4 mg for humans .

 

The research team found that compared with the control dose group, the DNA mutation rate of the mice in the low-dose group increased by 2 times, and the DNA mutation rate in the high-dose group increased by 1.8 times. 

In addition, in the high-dose group, the methylation level of DNA repair genes was significantly increased, and methylation can inhibit gene expression, suggesting that excessive supplementation of folic acid may affect DNA mutation rate by reducing the expression of DNA repair genes, thereby impairing DNA repair active.

 

Too much folic acid supplementation will increase DNA mutations and epigenetic changes

 

 

According to the research team, these experimental data suggest that folic acid supplementation has a ” Goldilocks effect ” – the paradigm should be moderate, too much or too little is not good. This also reminds us that folic acid supplementation should be limited to an ideal range.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper link :
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41421-022-00512-0

Too much folic acid supplementation will increase DNA mutations and epigenetic changes

(source:internet, reference only)


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