Folic Acid - Folate - B Vitamin
Folic Acid - Folate -Vitamin B9 reduces hypertension (high blood pressure), improves memory and prevents birth defects and Alzheimers Disease.
Folate deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the United States. Folate is a naturally occurring B vitamin (B-9) found abundantly in fresh vegetables and fruits. At the biochemical level, folate is incorporated into coenzymes that are essential in facilitating a variety of reactions in nucleic acid and amino acids metabolism. Some of which are critical to healthy life, such as DNA synthesis, DNA repair, and converting homocysteine to methionine. The latter is particularly important because excess homocysteine is linked to chronic health problems, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Animal and human studies have increasingly demonstrated associations between folate deficiency, serum homocysteine elevations, and a variety of cancers. Some studies have suggested folate supplementation or at least a high folate dietary intake may protect against some cancers.
Folic Acid when taken early in pregnancy, reduces the risk of birth defects in the baby's brain and spine. Folic acid should be taken every day, and by all women of childbearing age — since women may not know they are pregnant in the critical first weeks of pregnancy.
Folic acid supplements, widely used by women to prevent birth defects, also fights hypertension in women, perhaps because they relax blood vessels. Folic acid occurs naturally in substances such as orange juice and leafy green vegetables and is added to some products, but only high-dose supplements seem to affect blood pressure, the report said.
Researchers from the US National Institute on Aging monitored people's diets over seven years. Adults who consumed the daily recommended amount of Folic Acid had a reduced risk of Alzheimer's. Those who consumed at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day had a 55% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's compared to people consuming less than that amount.
This latest study appears in the August 2005 issue of the journal Alzheimer's and Dementia. Experts hypothesize that folate protects against Alzheimer's by reducing blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid. Homocysteine has already been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Older adults may get mental benefits -- including better memory -- by taking folic acid -- also called folate -- a B vitamin according to Dutch researchers.
Researchers compared test scores after three years of folic acid supplements to results after a placebo supplement in 818 older adults. Test scores showed memory improvements in the folic acid group. This group also had a slower decline in scores of other mental skills and muscle speed skills.
Here's a look at the folic acid group's test results after three years:
- Memory scores were that of someone five-and-one-half years younger.
- Scores on muscle skills were that of someone two years younger.
- Scores on an information-processing test were that of someone two years younger.
Folic acid supplements of at least 400 micrograms per day are recommended for women before and during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects, severe fetal growth problems afflicting the brain and spinal cord that often result in still births.
Forman said the substance may help women reduce their risk of developing high blood pressure because of it relaxes blood vessels and eases blood flow.
“The prospect that folate has the potential to protect against high blood pressure is exciting given that the vitamin is both readily available and safe,” he said. “The next step will be a randomized controlled trial comparing women given either folic acid supplements or placebo.”
There is also evidence that higher levels of folic acid may reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer in all adults, and breast cancer in women who consume alcohol. Although more foods are being fortified with folic acid, some people still do not get enough in their diet. We recommend that all women of childbearing age take a pill with at least 400 micrograms daily.
Folic acid deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in America.
The American Heart Association is recommending, in a science advisory an increased dietary intake of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid to meet the RDAs for individuals with elevated homocysteine levels and a history of heart disease. Plasma levels of these vitamins are inversely related to levels of homocysteine.
Folic Acid is an important part of our diet, expecially for women that are planning to conceive or that are pregnant. Studies have shown that folic acid is an important part of the prenatal and natal stages. It can help prevent birth defects and is very beneficial just before delivery and for women that are nursing. Individuals taking large doses of Vitamin C, women that are taking birth control pills and individuals that drink alcoholic beverages should increase their intake of folic acid.
Other benefits of folic acid are:
Helps prevent anemia, helps improve lactation, aids in reducing pain, helps protect against food poisoning and intestinal parasites, it could help delay the graying of the hair (when used with pantothenic acid), helps skin to look healthier, and also aids in the prevention of canker sores.
FH-58-0 Folic Acid 800mcg 100 tablets $7.95
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