Role of Folate in Body – Healthy Red Blood Cells

Folate (vitamin B-9) is an important component in red blood cell formation and function. It is crucial during pregnancy to reduce risk of birth defects. Best source of folate is leafy green diet, a balanced diet is all you need to balance the nutrition in your body. However, in case of folic deficiency, supplements are recommended for people with certain health conditions and women who are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant.

What is the major role of folate in cellular metabolism?

Balanced folate intake is important for cell division, tissues grow and homeostasis. It works with vitamin C and B12 to help oxidation and reduction of one-carbon units required for regulating the function of normal metabolism. This vitamin is water-soluble, body gets rid of the extra folate through urine which means our body do not store folic acid. It is advised to get adequate amount through food or supplements to help the function of:

  • Cell function and tissue growth
  • Break, use and create new protein
  • Help with anemia
  • Helps DNA carry genetic information
  • Menstrual problems
  • Leg ulcers

What are the side effects of folate deficiency?

Certain side effects can be noticed by people who lack the adequate amount of folic acid including diarrhea, gray hair, peptic ulcer, mouth ulcer, glossitis, poor growth and anemias in many cases. Women who think about becoming pregnant and are pregnant are advised to take folate supplements because getting enough folic acid form food isn’t enough. The right amount of folate intake during pregnancy “helps prevent neural tube defects, including spine bifida”.  It will also lower the chances of miscarriage.

What is the adequate amount of intake of folic acids?

The adequate amount taken for the role of folate in body to function is 400 (mcg) for adults and 400 -1,000 mcg for women who are planning to get pregnant according to the health association. However, extra dose of folic acids will leave the body through urine.

Can oral supplement effect the role of folate in body functions?

Many medical research supports the use of folate as oral supplement for specific conditions due to the positive results in such conditions. It shows that supplements can prevent birth defects of the neural tube. Women who start taking folate three months before conception can ensure getting enough of this important nutrient.

In addition to that, folic acids work with vitamin B-6 and B12 to control the high levels of homocysteine in the blood to decrease the risk of heart and blood vessel disease and stroke. Also, some research suggests that folic acids reduce the risk of several cancers, helpful in treating depression and prevent dementia.



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