Folate Intake Linked to Decreased Diabetes Risk

Recent research has reported that proper supplementation of folate in young adulthood to be inversely associated with diabetes incidence in midlife among Americans. Researchers have published the findings in Diabetes Care.

A recommendation supported by the American Diabetes Association is for women with preexisting diabetes to consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily if they are capable of becoming pregnant, and to increase their consumption to 600 micrograms of folic acid daily if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Previous studies have shown homocysteine, a common amino acid found in the blood, is associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Folate, which reduces homocysteine, is promising for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Jie Zhu et al, associated with the Nutrition and Foods Program, Texas State University, had carried out a study to prospectively examine intakes of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 concerning diabetes incidence in a large U.S. cohort.

In a 30-Year Study, researchers at Texas State University examined patient’s intake of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 and tracked diabetes incidence. The study included a total of 4,704 American adults aged 18–30 years and without diabetes. They enrolled in 1985–1986 and were monitored until 2015–2016 in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Dietary assessment was conducted by a validated dietary-history questionnaire at baseline and the cumulative average intakes of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 they used were assessed. Incident diabetes was ascertained by plasma glucose levels, oral glucose tolerance tests, hemoglobin A1c concentrations, and/or anti-diabetic medications.

During the study, 655 incident cases of diabetes had occurred. The research found that intake of folate, but not vitamin B6 or vitamin B12, was inversely associated with diabetes incidence after adjustment. Higher folate intake was also associated with lower plasma homocysteine and insulin. The researchers concluded that Intake of folate in young adulthood was inversely associated with diabetes incidence in midlife among Americans. “The observed association may be partially explained by mechanisms related to homocysteine level, insulin sensitivity, and systemic inflammation” the authors wrote.

Source: Diabetes Care Medical Journal