Folic Acid- What, Why and How

Posted on: December 14th, 2014 by CarePro Blogger
Broccoli is a good food source of folate, but you may benefit from a high quality folic acid supplement.

Broccoli is a good food source of folate, but you may benefit from a high quality folic acid supplement.

Folic acid is famous for its benefits to babies in the womb- it helps prevent many birth defects, like spina bifida (incomplete formation of the spine). What you may not know is that folic acid is important for all people to take, regardless of sex or age.

Folic acid is a B vitamin, and it supports your health in a variety of ways. For example, folic acid helps your body build new cells. Cell building is a constant process happening within your hair, skin and fingernails (which are frequently damaged by cosmetics and our environments). Folic acid also helps keep your blood healthy- you may develop anemia (a low red blood cell count) if you don’t get enough folic acid.

Another surprising fact about folic acid is that the medications you take may deplete folic acid from your body. If you are on a medication for Rheumatoid arthritis, seizures or Type 2 diabetes (just to name a few), you should consider taking a folic acid supplement to replace what you lose. If you drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day, or if you have celiac disease, you may also be at risk for folic acid depletion.

You can increase your daily folic acid intake by including leafy green vegetables (like kale, broccoli and spinach), whole grains and beans in your diet. Look for “vitamin B9” on the nutrition labels of food items to see if they’re enriched with folic acid. You may find it difficult to get all the nutrients you need from food alone because of your schedule, health or food choices. That’s when high quality supplements come in handy. Call, email or visitCarePro Advance Health or your local CarePro Pharmacy. Our expert pharmacists can help you find a folic acid supplement to fit your lifestyle and dietary needs.

Sources: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/index.html; http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/folic-acid.html

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