Vit-B folic acid, smarter students

Swedish researchers have shown that students who have a relatively high intake of the B-vitamin folic acid get better grades at school.

Torbjorn K. Nilsson, MD, PhD, of Orebro University Hospital and his colleagues analyzed the grades and diets of 386 15-year-old boys and girls who were finishing their school year. After adding the grades from 10 core classes, the researchers found that the teenagers who had a higher dietary intake of folic acid also had higher academic scores.

The students did not eat fortified foods or take supplements during the study. Therefore, the most likely source of folic acid was leafy green vegetables.

According to Nilsson, teenagers are at risk of low folic acid intake and, consequently, higher homocysteine levels.

Reference: Nilsson TK, Yngve A, Böttiger AK, et al. High folate intake is related to better academic achievement in Swedish adolescents. Pediatrics, 2011; doi10.1542/peds.2010-1481.

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