Folic acid (vitamin B9) is an essential vitamin that maintains red blood cell production, is required for DNA repair and synthesization, and the overall functioning of the body. Here are 5 health benefits of folic acid.
Folic acid is most often associated with pregnancy because it is a known fact that folic acid is crucial for the development of the baby. Folic acid is crucial for the baby’s early development. Te neural tube develops in the first weeks after conception and folic acid deficiency may lead to it not forming properly. Low folic acid levels may also lead to miscarriage or low birth weight. Woman who are planning to conceive or are pregnant should talk to their doctors about supplementing with folic acid.
It has been found that cancer can be prevented with folic acid, specifically colon cancer. This nutrient works on cell repair and maintenance within the body, and it can help to clean up the free radicals that may cause cancer.
Consuming folic acid on a daily basis is one of the best ways to protect your heart. It has been found that folic acid prevents heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and removing homocysteine, which can cause damage to the arteries and increase the risk of stroke.
Research has found that folic acid may improve the symptoms of depression, schizophrenia, and even autism. And since folic acid lowers levels of homocysteine, it may be beneficial in degenerative brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Folic acid may be beneficial in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) since this eye disease has been linked to high levels of homocysteine and folic acid is known to lower levels of this amino acid. Treating with B12 and B6 along with folic acid may be especially beneficial for macular degeneration.