Folic acid is widely known to help prevent birth defects, but it’s not just for pregnant women. Folic Acid, also known as folate or Vitamin B9, has multiple health benefits for women and men of all ages. Folic Acid is found in foods such as leafy greens, pastas, beans and more. According to Men’s Fitness, folic acid helps the body break down, create and use new proteins as well as form new blood cells and create new DNA.
Studies have shown that folic acid may help prevent heart disease, depression, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, type-2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
How does Folic Acid protect my heart? Folic acid pairs with Vitamin B12 as a coenzyme to help metabolism the amino acids methonine and homocysteine. Without folic acid, homocysteine levels can cause blood to clot more easily than normal and cause cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Studies have shown folic acid may lower homocysteine levels.
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Folic acid supplements have been used to help treat depression and enhance antidepressant drugs. Studies have shown that people who are deficient in folic acid have less response to antidepressant medication. Folic acid is also believed to play a part in mood regulation.
A recent study of 579 men and women ages 60 and up has shown that folic acid may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that participants who regularly consumed the recommended daily allowance of folic acid (400 mcg) through both food and supplements cut their risk of developing Alzheimer’s in half. Folic Acid also may play a key role in preventing overall memory loss associated with old age.
Folic Acid may help with the breakdown of triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood that are used for energy. Type-2 diabetes is linked to high levels of triglycerides in the blood. A study by the European Journal of Endocrinology also found when looking at four different groups of women from different geographical locations, those with a BMI of 30 and above also had low levels of folic acid.
According to The American Cancer Society, low levels of folic acid in the blood have been linked with higher rates of colorectal cancer and some other types of cancer. A large study from 1980 to 1994 found that the women who took more than 400 mcg of folic acid per day were less likely to get colon cancer than those with those who took less than 200 mcg.
Folic acid is necessary to make and repair DNA when creating new cells. Scientists believe that low levels of folic acid may lead to changes in chemicals that affect DNA. This may alter how well cells can repair themselves or divide properly, which may lead to cancer.
Healthy To Go’s Smoothie Complete offers a unique way to get folic acid. Instead of a pill, Smoothie Complete offers an all in one way to get 21 vitamins and minerals, including 400 mcg (100% of your daily value) per scoop.
1.Egan, Pamela. The Benefits of Folic Acid. Pamela Egan. Retrieved Nov 27, 2012 from http://www.pamelaegan.com/articles/folic-acid-benefits/
2.Freedman, Lisa. Are you getting enough of this B vitamin? Men’s Fitness. Retrieved Nov 28, 2012 from http://www.mensfitness.com/lisa-freedman/folic-acid
3.Folic Acid. The American Cancer Society. (May 7, 2011). Retrieved November 30, 2012 from http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/folic-acid
4.Stoppler, Melissa M.D. The Benefits of Folic Acid for Women. MedicineNet.com. (Dec 6, 2007). Retrieved November 28, 2012 from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=41765