Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Rev Genet. 2005 Mar;6(3):235-40.

Folic acid - vitamin and panacea or genetic time bomb?

Author information

  • 1School of Applied Sciences, University of Newcastle, Brush Rd, Ourimbah, NSW 2258, Australia. Mark.Lucock@newcastle.edu.au

Abstract

We live in a health-conscious age - many of us supplement our diet with essential micronutrients through the discretionary use of multivitamin pills or judicious selection of foods that have a health benefit beyond that conferred by the nutrient content alone - the so-called 'functional foods'. Indeed, the citizens of some nations have little choice, with a mandatory fortification policy in place for certain vitamins. But do we ever stop to consider the consequences of an increased exposure to micronutrients? We examine this issue in relation to the B-group vitamin folic acid, and ask whether supplementation with this vitamin could introduce a strong genetic selection pressure - one that has the side effect of increasing the prevalence of some of the most significant, human life-threatening diseases. Are we affecting our genetics - is this a case of human evolution in progress by altering our diet?

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk