The Importance of Folate and Folic Acid
Folate is a B vitamin naturally found in a variety of foods. The body can’t produce folate, that’s why it’s important to get it from folate-rich foods. Folate is naturally found in various plant and animal foods, including citrus fruits, avocado, spinach, kale, broccoli, eggs, and beef liver. Folate is also added to foods, such as bread, flours, and cereals, in the form of folic acid or the synthetic, water-soluble version of folate. Folate and folic acid have different effects on the body.
Our body utilizes folate for a variety of essential functions, including cell division, development of red blood cells, conversion of homocysteine to methionine, an amino acid used for protein synthesis, production of SAMe, and DNA methylation. Folic acid is also important for various metabolic processes. Folate deficiency has ultimately been associated with a variety of health issues, such as the increased risk of heart disease, birth defects, megaloblastic anemia, and cancer.
Daily Intake of Folate and Folic Acid
Our body stores between 10 to 30 mg of folate, most of which is stored in your liver while the remaining amount is stored in your blood and tissues. Normal blood folate levels range from 5 to 15 ng/mL. The main form of folate in the bloodstream is known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Daily intake of this essential nutrient is different for people of different ages. The recommended daily allowance of folate for infants, children, teens, adults, and pregnant women are as follows:
- 0 to 6 months: 65 mcg
- 7 to 12 months: 80 mcg
- 1 to 3 years: 150 mcg
- 4 to 8 years: 200 mcg
- 9 to 13 years: 300 mcg
- over 14 years: 400 mcg
- during pregnancy: 600 mcg
- during lactation: 500 mcg
Folic acid supplements play an important role in making sure that people who are in greater need of folate are getting enough of their daily intake. Increasing the daily intake of folate-rich foods is also important because these foods generally offer plenty of other nutrients that all act together to support overall health. Recommended folate daily intake increases during pregnancy and breastfeeding to promote rapid growth and help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.
Folic acid is available in dietary supplements and fortified foods, including bread, flours, cereals, and several types of grains. It is also added to B-complex vitamins. Folate is also naturally found in a variety of foods, including:
- orange juice
- canned tomato juice
- boiled spinach
- mustard greens
- Brussels sprouts
- green peas
- black-eyed peas
- dry-roasted peanuts
- kidney beans
- Dungeness crab
- beef liver
Uses of Folate and Folic Acid
Both folate and folic acid are frequently utilized for a variety of reasons. Although folate and folic acid supplements are generally used to treat similar health issues, they do offer different effects in the body and, therefore, it may affect our overall health in different ways. Moreover, getting the proper daily intake of folate and folic acid can improve overall health. The following are several of the most common uses of folate and folic acid supplements, including:
- folate deficiency
- brain health
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- mental health issues
- fertility problems
- birth defects and pregnancy complications
For information regarding the importance of folate and folic acid, please review the following article:
Folate is a B vitamin that is naturally found in many different types of food. Because we can’t produce folate, it’s important to get it from foods that are high in folate. Various folate-rich foods include citrus fruits, avocado, spinach, kale, broccoli, eggs, and beef liver. Folate is also added to foods like bread, flours, and cereals, in the form of folic acid, the synthetic version of this essential nutrient. Folate and folic acid have different effects on the body. Our body uses folate for many important functions, including cell division, development of red blood cells, conversion of homocysteine to methionine, an amino acid used for protein synthesis, production of SAMe, and DNA methylation. Folic acid is also essential for many metabolic processes. Folate deficiency has ultimately been associated with a variety of health issues, such as heart disease, birth defects, megaloblastic anemia, and even cancer. Daily intake of this essential nutrient is different for people of different ages. Furthermore, folate is also naturally found in a variety of foods, such as bananas, avocado, boiled spinach, and eggs. Both folate and folic acid supplements have a variety of uses and they can help improve various health issues, including inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, birth defects, and pregnancy complications. Adding healthy foods to a smoothie is a fast and easy way to get your daily intake of folate. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
Ginger Greens Juice
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
• 1 cup pineapple cubes
• 1 apples, sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled, and chopped
• 3 cups kale, rinsed, and roughly chopped or ripped
• 5 cups Swiss chard, rinsed, and roughly chopped or ripped
Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.
Eating cholesterol-rich foods doesn’t increase your cholesterol
According to research studies, eating foods with HDL cholesterol or “good” cholesterol doesn’t increase your overall blood cholesterol levels. When you eat healthy cholesterol-rich foods, such as prawns and eggs, your blood cholesterol levels decrease, so your blood cholesterol levels stay balanced, or they’re only raised minimally. It’s actually saturated fats that you have to look out for when it comes to high blood cholesterol levels. Simply choose healthier food options.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.
- Kubala, Jillian. “Folic Acid: Everything You Need to Know.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 18 May 2020, http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/folic-acid#What-is-folic-acid?
- Ware, Megan. “Folate: Health Benefits and Recommended Intake.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 26 June 2018, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287677#recommended-intake.
- Felman, Adam. “Folic Acid: Importance, Deficiencies, and Side Effects.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 11 Mar. 2020, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219853#natural-sources.
- Berg, M J. “The Importance of Folic Acid.” The Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine: JGSM: the Official Journal of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 1999, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11252849/.
- Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=23.