Holla!!! Welcome to the last post for the month and the final part of the understand your vitamin series.
We will be looking at the last water-soluble vitamin, Folate (folic acid and B9)
Folic acid is the synthetic form of B9, found in supplements and fortified foods, while folate occurs naturally in foods. Also, Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health.
Rich sources of folate include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Mustard greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Lima beans
- Beef liver
- Brewer’s yeast
- Root vegetables
- Whole grains
- Wheat germ
- Bulgur wheat
- Kidney beans
- White beans
- Lima beans
- Mung beans
- Orange juice
Firstly is Birth defects: Pregnant women who do not get enough folic acid are more likely to have children with birth defects.
Heart disease: Folate may help protect the heart through several methods. First, there is some evidence that getting enough folic acid in your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, although this evidence is based on population studies and not more definitive clinical trials. There is not yet any evidence that taking folic acid supplements would help.
Age-related hearing loss: One study suggests that folic acid supplements help slow the progression of age-related hearing loss in elderly people with high homocysteine levels and low folate in their diet. Although, It is not known whether healthy seniors would benefit.
Furthermore, Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): One large study found that women who took 2,500 mcg of folic acid along with 500 mg of vitamin B6 and 1,000 mcg of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) daily reduced their risk of developing AMD, therefore, an eye disease that can cause vision loss.
Depression: The evidence about whether folic acid can help relieve depression is mixed. Some studies show that 15 to 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies, and also, those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed.
Cancer: Folic acid in the diet seems to protect against the development of some forms of cancer, including:
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
However, this evidence is based on population studies that show people who get enough folate in their diet have lower rates of these cancers.