A New Decade of ME Research: The 11th Invest in ME International ME Conference 2016
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Unmetabolized folic acid associated with reduced NK cell function

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Mary, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    This is really interesting. I just skimmed it very briefly, and unfortunately it seems to equate folic acid with folate. However, it provides a possible basis (or partial basis even) for our low natural killer cell function numbers, at least for some of us. I don't know why they confined the study to post-menopausal women, but think it's quite possible that the results might be extrapolated to other populations.

    I believe that some of our difficulties with methylation stem from an inability to convert folic acid to a form useable by the body. This is not news to anyone here. But what that means is that probably many of us are carrying a load of unusable folic acid, which could contribute to low NK cell function, according to this study.

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/1/189.full
     
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  2. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

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    Great find Mary. thanks for posting.
     
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  3. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    I'm wondering if there is a test readily available to doctors and patients which would measure unmetabolized folic acid in plasma, which was the measurement used in this study.
     
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    A couple of studies have shown this. I think low NK function came up in one of them. It turns out that two slices of folic acid bread are sufficient to overwhelm the liver and release folic acid into the general circulation. It does not take someone with a MTHFR problem to have folic acid poisoning, its common, its just that in people with the problematic snps and older people have an even worse time of it. By implication anyone with a problem MTHFR snp, is old, and is consuming oodles of folic acid, is at very high risk of complications.

    What we need is less theory and small studies and more large population studies. Is there a link between serum folic acid and NK function in the population at large?
     
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  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This is a mild suppression of NK cell cytotoxicity. Some of us are running t less than 1% function, or more than 99% lower. Aside from those with MTHFR and related problematic snps, and maybe metal poisoning etc., this might indicate that folic acid is a contributor or risk factor rather than causal.
     
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  6. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    Good question and we do need more studies. Folic acid wasn't added to U.S. food until 1998 - I was hoping actually that it was earlier, say the early 80's? to maybe show correlation with our CFS/ME epidemic. But it still might be a factor in our low NK function numbers --
     
  7. helen1

    helen1 Senior Member

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    I don't think such a test is readily available. The only one I know of is the methylation panel by Health Diagnostics and Research Institute. I think Dr Myhill does one too.

    The study is interesting and concerning isn't it. I did find out that folic acid stays in your body a long time even if you haven't ingested any for months when I did the test. Had had no folic acid supplements or f.a. containing foods for six months when I did the test yet still showed f.a. in blood, fairly low levels though but surprising that there was any at all. And have very low NK function.

    Only a few countries have f.a. supplementation in foods and flours yet low NK cell function seems pervasive in PWME. F.a. supplementation can only make things worse for us though I would guess.
     
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