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I wanted to take a few minutes to talk to you about the health benefits of Folic Acid aka Vitamin B9. Like all B vitamins, folate plays a role in metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. More specifically, it plays a direct role in nerve and brain function. It aids in the production of genetic material, specifically DNA and RNA, and is critical during periods of rapid growth and cell turnover such as pregnancy, infancy and childhood. Folic acid is also a cofactor for red blood cell production and helps moderate homocysteine.
Vitamin B9, aka folic acid or folate, has many health benefits. It is most well-known for prevention of birth defects as a prenatal vitamin, protecting the brain and spinal cord. It may also help with Heart disease (coronary artery disease, heart attack), stroke, Dementia, cognitive function, Alzheimer’s disease, Age related Hearing loss, and Depression. Regarding cancer it has been linked with benefits to colon, breast, cervical, pancreatic and stomach cancer as well as ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia).It may help with Amenorrhea, Anemia, Bipolar disorder, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Diabetes, Down syndrome, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Gout, High blood pressure (hypertension), Glucose intolerance, Kidney disease, and Multiple sclerosis. Additional potential benefits (requiring more research) include phenytoin-induced gingival hyperplasia, prevention of pregnancy complications, blood clots, Vitilgo, Fragile X, Diarrhea, Gray hair, Mouth ulcers, Peptic ulcer, Poor growth.
Common sources include greens ( spinach, dark leafy greens, asparagus), Turnip, beets, and mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, Lima beans, soybeans, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, Beef liver, Brewer’s yeast, Root vegetables, Whole grains, Wheat germ, Bulgur wheat, Salmon, Orange juice, Avocado, and Milk and All grain and cereal products in the U.S. are fortified with folic acid.