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Folate sources, health benefits and uses

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by

Folate is the natural source of vitamin B9 commonly found in a variety of foods, such as green leafy vegetables, dried beans, and peas. It is called folic acid when it is taken as a supplement or used as an additive in foods, like bread, grains, or breakfast cereal. It is an important vitamin especially for women who are planning to get pregnant, pregnant, or nursing.

Medicinal uses for folate

Folic acid is essential for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It helps make both DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic material. It is also important during infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy — the times when cells and tissues are growing rapidly.

Pregnant women need more folic acid to prevent them from having children with birth defects. They should make sure to get the recommended 600 micrograms (mcg) per day.

Folate can also help reduce the chance of having heart disease. Studies also suggest that most people who are concerned about heart disease should focus more on getting the right amount of B vitamins from healthy foods or B vitamin supplement.

A study also suggested that folic acid supplements can help slow the progression of age-related hearing loss in elderly people with high homocysteine levels and low folate in their diet.

The risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can also be reduced. As a large study found that women who took 2,500 mcg of folic acid along with 500 milligrams of vitamin B6 and 1,000 mcg of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) daily reduced their chances of getting AMD.

A study also found that taking folic acid daily helped an antidepressant drug work better in women.

One of the major medicinal benefits of folate is that it helps protect against the development of some forms of cancer such as colon cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer, and stomach cancer.

Body systems supported by folate

Getting enough folic acid in your body promotes a healthy immune system. It was frequently observed that there is an increased susceptibility to infection in folate-deficient humans and animals.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a known cause of liver disease and cancer. Another good thing about folic acid is that it counteracts the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver.

Folate also helps the kidney function better. Studies have shown that the use of folic acid delays chronic kidney disease progression.

Lastly, folate is good for the skeletal system as it promotes the strengthening of bones.

Where to learn more


Folate is called folic acid when taken as a supplement or used in additives in foods.

Folate can help prevent cancer, heart diseases, and autism. It helps support liver health, heart health, and brain health.

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