Oral folic acid supplementation for cervical dysplasia: A clinical intervention trial

C. E. Butterworth, K. D. Hatch, Seng Jaw Soong, Philip Cole, Tsunenobu Tamura, Howerde E. Sauberlich, Matthew Borst, Maurizio Macaluso, Vicki Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

105 Scopus citations


Objective: We attempted to evaluate the effect of oral folic acid supplementation on the course of cervical dysplasia. Study Design: A total of 235 subjects with grade 1 or 2 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia were randomly assigned to receive either 10 mg of folic acid or a placebo daily for 6 months. Clinical status, human papillomavirus type 16 infection, and blood folate levels were monitored at 2-month intervals. Outcome data were subjected to X2 analysis. Results: The prevalence of human papillomavirus type 16 infection initially was 16% among subjects in the upper tertile of red blood cell folate versus 37% in the lower tertile (trend p = 0.035). After 6 months no significant differences were observed between supplemented and unsupplemented subjects regarding dysplasia status, biopsy results, or prevalence of human papillomavirus type 16 infection. Conclusion: Folate deficiency may be involved as a cocarcinogen during the initiation of cervical dysplasia, but folic acid supplements do not alter the course of established disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-809
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992
Externally publishedYes



  • Cancer
  • cervical dysplasia
  • folate
  • nutrition
  • papillomavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Butterworth, C. E., Hatch, K. D., Soong, S. J., Cole, P., Tamura, T., Sauberlich, H. E., Borst, M., Macaluso, M., & Baker, V. (1992). Oral folic acid supplementation for cervical dysplasia: A clinical intervention trial. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 166(3), 803-809. https://doi.org/10.1016/0002-9378(92)91337-A