Vitamin B9 , commonly known as folate or folic acid , is found in a variety of foods such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, meats and fruits.
Folate is one of the eight vitamins needed to form red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA.
Adequate folate absorption is very important during rapid growth periods such as pregnancy , infancy and adulthood.
One of the features of MNT Science Center is the collection of articles on the health benefits of famous vitamins and minerals. These articles take an in-depth look at the absorption of folate needed and recommended, its health benefits, folate-rich foods, and all its potential health risks.
Recommended amount of folate
The recommended allowable amount (RDA) for people 14 years and older is 400 micrograms per day.
Folate or folic acid is found in a wide range of foods such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, meats and fruits.
Pregnant women are advised to increase their folate intake to 600 micrograms per day to prevent damage to the neural tube network in the fetus.
The main reasons for folate deficiency are poor diet , alcoholism, growth needs and intestinal disorders that lead to folate absorption.
Although folate supplements are available, it is always best to absorb vitamins or minerals through food. Consumption of any food alone is not able to provide the vitamins or minerals our body needs, but their function is formed together.
Time has proven time and time again that taking a specific and unique supplement will not be able to provide the nutrients the body needs for health.
Focus on getting the folate you need daily through your diet, then use supplements as a support.
Potential properties of folate consumption in maintaining health
Reduce the risk of birth defects
Adequate folic acid uptake into pregnant women is essential to protect their baby from miscarriage and neural tube defects. Recent research also suggests that a father’s folate status before fertilization may be important. In a study at McGill University, parental folate deficiency in mice increased congenital abnormalities by up to 30 percent compared to children whose parents were not folate deficient.
Reduce the risk of depression
Folate helps us by preventing the increase in the formation of homocysteine in the body, which prevents the transfer of blood and other nutrients to the brain. Increased homocysteine interferes with the secretion of the hormone serotonin, which produces a good feeling in the body, dopamine and norepinephrine, which are used not only to improve mood but also to regulate sleep and appetite.
Maintain heart health
Elevated homocysteine is also a symptom of atherosclerosis. People with higher homocysteine levels are 1.7 times more likely to have heart disease and 2.5 times more likely to have a heart attack.
Low folate intake has been shown to increase breast cancer in women. Adequate folate intake from foods has also been shown to help fight colon, stomach, pancreas and neck cancers. Although the mechanism of protection is often unclear, researchers believe that the effects of folate are linked to its role in the production of DNA and RNA and the prevention of unwanted mutations. But there is no evidence that supplements have similar anti-cancer effects.
Food sources rich in folate
Bioavailability of folate (the body’s ability to absorb, use and retain) in foods varies considerably and is difficult to calculate. There are 150 different types of folate, between 50 and 90% of which are lost during cooking, storage or processing. The best sources of folate are green vegetables, legumes and liver. Folate is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortifying foods.
Asparagus and lentils contain large amounts of folate and are among the foods rich in platelets.
Asparagus, cooked, 1 cup: 243 micrograms
Beef liver, cooked, 95 grams: 215 micrograms
Roasted kidney beans, one-half cup: 179 micrograms
Cooked lentils, 1 cup: 168 micrograms
Cooked white beans, one-half cup: 132 micrograms
Cooked spinach, one-half cup: 131 micrograms
Lettuce, chopped, 1 cup: 59 micrograms
Raw avocado, half a cup: 59 micrograms
Egg yolk, 1 and 27 micrograms
Bananas, 1 and 24 micrograms
Mushrooms , grilled, cup: 23 micrograms
Potential dangers of folate intake
No adverse effects of high oral folate absorption have been reported. But high levels of folic acid absorption in a vein or vein can cause a sudden attack.
Talk to your doctor before starting a folate supplement to make sure it does not interfere with your medication. Long-term use of folate supplements may pose potential health risks or lead to vitamin B12 deficiency .
Following a complete diet or a comprehensive diet plan is especially important in preventing disease and achieving optimal health.
Instead of focusing on specific and nutritious foods as the key to health, it is better to follow a varied diet .