Remember Folic Acid? Unbelievable Facts You Don’t Know

Insane Folic Acid Facts

Folic acid is a specific vitamin that is naturally part of almost all reinvigorated foods and supplements. Remarkably, folic acid is a processed version of the regular folate, a kind of vitamin B in many foods.

Because the body may not generate folate naturally, and because the body requires folate to function correctly, you need to obtain folate from diets or folic acid from supplements. Either way, your body needs a reasonable amount of folate to work correctly. 

People commonly use folate and folic acids interchangeably. Nevertheless, studies have revealed that these two compounds are different from each other in some ways, even though later is the product of the former. According to medical researchers, folic acid has a totally different biological effect on the body. 

Folate is the natural version of itself that can be found in foods, and the following are food sources of folate;

  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Kale
  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli

On the other hand, folic acid, a man-made version of folate, can be found in dietary supplements. It can also be supplemented with foods like already-made-breakfasts. 

The Reasons Your Body Uses Folate

  • The body uses folate to repair and synthesis dead cells and tissues.
  • It also uses it for cellular division.
  • The body uses folate to convert homocysteine to methionine. Methionine is a kind of amino acid majorly used for protein synthesis.
  • The body also needs folate for the growth, development, and maturation of the body’s red blood cells.

Folate is one of those vitamins essential for metabolic processes, and its deficiency could spell harm for you. It could lead to various health issues by first exposing you to different infections from bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Folate deficiency can increase your risks of developing heart disease, birth defects for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers who lack enough folate, and some kinds of cancer.

Folate Deficit and Its Causes

People wonder every day what the causes of folate deficiency are. Several factors have been identified to the cause of folate deficiency, and these factors include;

  • Alcoholism; excess consumption of excess alcohol can drastically dry up your folate level.
  • Pregnancy; this is precisely why pregnant women are advised to always consume folic acid to replace lost ones because they are at more risk of losing it. Besides, folate can also be called ‘the pregnancy vitamin.’
  • Inadequate dietary intake; when your diet does not include folate food sources and when you do not contain folic acid in your diet, there is no way you can have folate in your body since the body does not produce folate on its own. 
  • Hypochlorhydria and achlorhydria.
  • Medications disrupt or slow down the absorption of folate.
  • Dialysis.
  • Illnesses and surgeries that affect and slow down the absorption of folic acid can also make you folate deficient. 
  • Hemolytic anemia.

Folate deficiency has become rampant, especially in pregnant women, and this is why most infants are birthed with defects. Eating folate food sources is just not enough when you are experiencing folate deficiency; combining your folate diet with folic acid-rich supplements and superfoods would help complement your diet and eliminate the deficit. 

Symptoms of Folate Deficiency

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mouth and tongue sores

Health Benefits of Folate 

Pregnancy Health

Folate or folic acid is a crucial vitamin for pregnancy. It helps prevent pregnancy complications, neural tube defects, and birth defects like babies being born without some parts of their skull or brain. Since pregnant women are always at the risk of folate deficiency, they need to source it either in foods or in supplements. Dieticians have advised that women who intend to get pregnant in the future and already-pregnant women should at least consume about 400 to 800 mg of folic acid supplements or superfoods from at least 2 months before they get pregnant and 3 to 4 months into pregnancy. During antenatal, folate is prescribed for pregnant women in hospitals to prevent birth defects in their babies and pregnancy complications.

Folate Deficiency

Folate and folic acid are used to treat people who lack folate in the body due to one or more of the conditions discussed above of folate deficiency. Folate deficiency can lead to various harmful effects like anemia, birth defects and pregnancy complications, depression, impaired immune system, and mental health. 

Brain Health

Both folate and folic acid play the same function in the promotion and enhancement of brain health. Folate insufficiency leads to dementia and reduced pain function. Folate diet and folic acid supplements, and superfoods have been identified to help improve and improve the brain’s function and play vital roles in treating Alzheimer’s disease. 

Mental Health

People who experience mental and psychological breakdowns or illnesses take folate as part of their medicine. This is because people who encounter psychological conditions like depression have been observed to have a lesser level of folate in their blood. Including folate-rich foods in their diets and complementing the diet and medications with folic acid supplements would help diminish depressive symptoms in people who are depressed. The research confirmed that people who used folic acid supplements with antidepressants felt a faster recovery process.

Heart Health

Folate is correlated to the reduction of heart-related illness risks. Having a logically high and mediocre amount of blood folate level can help reduce the risk of evolving heart diseases. It can also improve the reduction of blood pressure which is a significant pointer to heart disease.


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