Why does it matter to me?
It is essential for normal brain function, particularly in the elderly1.
It protects against brain atrophy and may limit the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease2,3,4.
It is essential for DNA creation and repair and may play an important role in preventing the development of certain forms of cancer5.
Adequate folate during pregnancy is critical for growth, creating specialised cells, and greatly reduces the risk of such birth defects as spina bifida and anencephaly6.
How folate reacts with...
Vitamin C: Our ability to absorb folate improves with vitamin C consumption7.
Vitamins B12 and 6: Folate has a strong relationship with vitamins B12 and B6 and together they promote cardiovascular disease prevention8.
Biotin (B7): Folate along with biotin appears to play a role in the regulation of inflammation (unregulated inflammation leads to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis)9.
Vitamin K1: A recent study has shown that diets rich in folate along with lutein, beta carotene and vitamin K1 significantly reduces cognitive decline10.
Additional Folate research
A study that followed 1,980 Finnish men for ten years found that those who consumed the most dietary folate had a 55% lower risk of a heart attack when compared with those who consumed the least dietary folate11.
The available scientific evidence shows that adequate folate intake prevents birth defects, lowers the risk of some types of cancer, especially in people who are more susceptible, and may lower the risk of heart (cardiovascular) diseases.
What if I don’t have enough?
Folate deficiency has been shown to lead to the development of anemia, Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, headache, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath12.
Can I just take folic acid?
Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate and is often used in food fortification, however there are doubts about the effectiveness of folic acid compared to naturally occurring folate, for more detail see the link to Paul Finglas from the Institute of Food Research below.
Am I getting enough?
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