Folic Acid And Hpv Clearance – Folic Acid Benefits Hpv

Summary: Folic acid is a B-vitamin that plays an important role in DNA synthesis and methylation. Recent studies suggest that folic acid may also help in HPV clearance, reducing the risk of developing cervical cancer. This article discusses the relationship between folic acid and HPV clearance, how it works, and the evidence supporting this claim.

1. What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, is essential for cell division and DNA synthesis. It is crucial for the growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy. Folic acid is naturally found in leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, yeast, and liver. Some foods like breakfast cereals, bread, and flour are fortified with folic acid.

In addition to its role in cell division and DNA synthesis, folic acid also plays a role in DNA methylation. DNA methylation is a process by which a methyl group is added to a cytosine base in the DNA sequence. Methylation helps regulate gene expression and is important for cell differentiation and growth. Folic acid is essential for providing the methyl groups necessary for methylation.

Folic acid deficiency has been associated with birth defects like neural tube defects, anemia, and cognitive impairment. Women of childbearing age are recommended to take folic acid supplements to prevent neural tube defects in their offspring.

2. How Does Folic Acid Help in HPV Clearance?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer. Folate metabolism is necessary for DNA synthesis, repair, and regulation of gene expression. Studies suggest that low folate levels may increase the risk of persistent HPV infection and cervical cancer.

In vitro studies indicate that folic acid can inhibit the growth of HPV-infected cells by promoting DNA repair and methylation. Folic acid also helps enhance the immune response by promoting the production of natural killer cells, lymphocytes, and antibodies.

A study conducted in 2003 found that women who consumed higher levels of folic acid were less likely to have persistent HPV infections and cervical dysplasia than those with lower folate levels. Another study published in 2011 found a strong association between higher blood folate levels and clearance of HPV infections in women.

3. Is There Evidence Supporting Folic Acid’s Role in HPV Clearance?

A systematic review published in 2017 analyzed the results of 18 studies that investigated the relationship between folate status and HPV infection/cervical cancer. The study found that higher folate status was associated with a decreased risk of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer. The authors concluded that an adequate intake of folate may reduce the risk of HPV infection, particularly in women with low levels of folate.

Other studies have reported conflicting results on the association between folate status and HPV infection. A study published in 2010 found no significant association between dietary folate intake and the risk of cervical cancer, while another study found that high dose folic acid supplementation may increase the risk of developing precancerous lesions in women with high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).

Despite these inconsistencies, evidence supports that higher folate levels are associated with lower rates of persistent HPV infection and cervical cancer.

4. How Much Folic Acid Should You Take?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of folic acid for adults is 400 mcg daily. Pregnant women are advised to take 600-800 mcg of folic acid daily to prevent birth defects in their offspring. Women who are planning to conceive are also advised to take folic acid supplements to ensure adequate folate status during the early stages of pregnancy.

It is possible to get adequate amounts of folic acid from a healthy, balanced diet rich in folate-rich foods like leafy greens, fruits, and beans. However, fortified foods like breakfast cereals and bread may be a more practical source of folic acid for some people.

You should talk to your doctor before taking folic acid supplements, especially if you are taking medications like methotrexate, which interferes with folate metabolism and may cause folate deficiency.


Folic acid plays an important role in DNA synthesis, repair, and methylation, making it a crucial nutrient for cell growth and division. Evidence suggests that folic acid may also play a role in HPV clearance, reducing the risk of cervical cancer. While the evidence is not conclusive, women can benefit from ensuring adequate intake of folic acid through diet or supplementation. As always, consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen.

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