Folic acid may be a potential addition to diabetic foot ulcer treatment – a hypothesis

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Abstract

Delayed wound healing in diabetes is a challenging medical and societal problem for which there is currently no efficacious treatment. One of the major contributors of this problem is nitric oxide (NO) deficiency. NO is a critical signalling molecule essential for normal wound repair. Sustained hyperglycaemia in diabetes leads to increased vascular superoxide production, which inactivates NO and causes vascular dysfunction. New therapeutic regiments and strategies to enhance endothelial NO production are a new hope to improve impaired diabetic wound healing. One of the agents that have the ability to improve endothelial NO generation in diabetic patients is folic acid. Folic acid ability to conserve NO bioactivity may be due to homocysteine-lowering effects of folates, antioxidant actions and effects on cofactor availability. Considering these data, we hypothesised that folic acid supplementation may ameliorate delayed diabetic wound healing by increasing NO bioavailability. The potential of exogenous folic acid as an inexpensive and safe oral therapy stimulates ongoing investigations.

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