Folic Acid – Not Just for Prenatal Health

Posted On : February 14th, 2011 / 0 comments

Folic acid, a form of folate, is a vitamin that has been in the media quite a bit in the last few years. Its virtues have been heralded by organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and by health gurus such as television’s Doctor Oz. This supplement is of particular importance to women who are pregnant, nursing, or over forty years of age. But you don’t need to be a woman to benefit from getting enough folate. Taking folate supplements has many benefits for people of all ages and both sexes. That’s why awareness of this vitamin is on the rise.

Folic acid is a water-soluble form of the vitamin B9. Folate is the naturally occurring form of the same vitamin. Folate can be found in leafy green vegetables, and this is the main source for this vital vitamin. In the Western world, it can also be found in dry cereals and breads, so you’d think that getting folate in your diet should be a breeze. But, unfortunately, due to bad eating habits, many people fail to get the folate that they need. This makes it necessary to take vitamin supplements containing vitamin B9 in order to get your recommended daily allowance (RDA), per the FDA’s recommendations.

It has been claimed that adding folic acid and other micronutrients to the food supply of developing countries could be an extremely cost-effective way to improve world health. That’s how vital folate is to the human diet. A lack of folate could cause folate deficiency (FD), the most common effects of which can be to cause damage to developing embryos, which is why it’s such a common and significant ingredient in prenatal vitamins. But FD can also cause loss of appetite, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, and even depression. Getting enough folate is crucial to your health.

Folic acid is not only believed to prevent illness, but can also be used to treat and prevent it. Many medical experts believe that foods high in folate can help people who have conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, depression, and even certain types of cancer. And still others believe that folate can prevent cancer and keep heart disease at bay. It can help to prevent large artery stiffness and isolated systolic hypertension. So no matter what your sex or your age, getting enough B9 in your diet or taking supplements to make sure that you’re getting the vitamins you need is crucial to your continued good health.