A study in the Journal of Neurochemistry shows that lack of folic acid may cause Parkinson Disease.

Mice that were fed MPTP, a chemical that causes Parkinson's disease, and were also given folic acid did not develop full blown Parkinson's disease. Those given MPTP and fed a diet low in folic acid developed severe shaking and lack of muscle control characteristic of Parkinson's disease.

Lack of this vitamin causes homocysteine to accumulate in the bloodstream which damages DNA in the substantia nigra, a part of the brain rich with dopamine cells. This lowers brain levels of dopamine which causes Parkinson's disease. Green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and juices, whole grains and dry beans are good sources of the vitamin. Lack of folic acid can also cause heart attacks and a type of birth defect in which the spine does not close normally.

Folic Acid and Parkinson's Disease. Vol. 287 No. 7, Journal of Neurochemistry, 2002;80:101-110.

Checked 8/9/05

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