From Arlington, Virginia, USA:
The July issue of Pediatrics contained an article that suggests that high doses of folate and/or vitamin B6 normalized endothelial (vascular) dysfunction in children with type 1 diabetes. This appears to be a major finding. What are your thoughts on this article and the use of these supplements at the doses described in the article or in the alternative of their recommended upper tolerable limits?
The article used 5 mg of folate and 100 mg of B6, one or the other. That's a lot, at least 10 times the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance). It was an eight week study. Your question is whether a child should take that much folate for the rest of his/her life...no one knows. Is it safe? I suppose we think so, but, as an example, when one of the big studies with vitamin E was finished, there was some question of increased risk in the treated group. So, I can't tell anyone to take that much folate.
Many dark green vegetables, plus a multivitamin, would get somewhere in the 600 to 800 mcg range or 20% of the treatment range. I know that would be safe. Remember that we need a little bit of the vitamins. When given in big doses, they become a medicine just like penicillin.
Original posting 29 Aug 2006
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