Nature's Life - Folic Acid 800 mcg. - 250 Tablets
Nature's Life Folic Acid functions as a coenzyme, intended to provide nutritive support for healthy red blood cells and proper brain function.
Features & Benefits:
- Essential nutrient as a coenzyme in several important biochemical reactions
- Critical for cell growth and development, especially during pregnancy
- Maintains healthy and reduces elevated homocysteine levels
- Maintains healthy red blood cell counts
- Women who consume a healthful diet with adequate folic acid may reduce the risk of
having a child with birth defects of the brain or spinal cord
Facts About Folic Acid
Derived from the term "foliage," folate, or folic acid is a member of the B vitamin family found primarily in dark leafy green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits, beets, meat, and wheat germ. Folic acid is water soluble, meaning it is not stored but excreted easily from the body via urine. It is also sensitive to heat, so many types of cooking and food processing may reduce folic acid in food. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis, which is especially important in red blood cell production and fetal development. It has been the subject of numerous government
sponsored research studies focusing on birth defects, pregnancy, high homocysteine, gingivitis, and depression.
As required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, grain products in the United States have been fortified with folic acid since 1998. Estimates conclude that fortification increases the daily intake by approximately 100 mcg per day. The US Public Health service, along with the March of Dimes recommends that all women of childbearing age take 400mcg as a supplement every day in order to reduce the risk of birth defects caused by folic acid deficiency. Recent studies have indicated that supplements provide a more bioavailable form of folic acid than do fortified foods. A study comparing folic acid from orange juice and folic acid from a supplement showed that the supplement had better absorption rate than the fortified orange juice.
Folic acid’s ability to reduce the risk of neural tube defects is well documented. The most common of birth defects linked to folic acid deficiency are spina bifida, the incomplete closing of the bony casing around the spinal cord that results in partial paralysis, and anencephaly, a condition in which major parts of the brain are missing. Most health care practitioners agree that folic acid supplementation should begin before pregnancy since neural defects can occur during the first trimester, before a woman even realizes she may be pregnant. This evidence is so convincing that the FDA has authorized a disease risk reduction health claim for folic acid supplements in regards to birth defect risk reduction.
Although research is preliminary, folic acid, taken either alone or as part of a multivitamin, may also provide critical support for both mother and fetus and ensure a healthy pregnancy. Most recently, the link between folic acid and healthy blood pressure during pregnancy has been studied, as well as folic acid’s possible beneficial effect on full term pregnancy.
Folic acid is not just for expectant mothers. Extensive research indicates it also maintains heart and blood vessel health by controlling a substance called homocysteine. Homocysteine is a byproduct of the breakdown of protein, and excess blood levels of homocysteine have been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Folic acid assists in keeping balanced blood levels of homocysteine, as well as providing antioxidant protection. Folic acid and certain other B vitamins function as coenzymes to either recycle homocysteine or break it down for excretion in the urine.
Although folic acid is not generally associated with side effects, there have been individual clinical reports that high levels of folic acid may mask a deficiency of vitamin B12. However, a deficiency of B12 is uncommon, and the Institute of Medicine has determined that only amounts above 1000 mcg per day of folic acid may have this masking effect, which can be eliminated by supplementing with a few mcg of B-12.
The “Hearty” Bs : Folic Acid and Vitamin B-12
Though known to doctors of natural medicine for years, one of the biggest nutritional news stories of the decade is that folic acid, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 are critical for a healthy cardiovascular system. High levels of the natural but toxic amino acid homocysteine cause damage to the blood vessels. Getting enough folic acid, vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) and vitamin B-6 helps maintain normal homocysteine metabolism. Nature's Life has developed a Homocysteine Formula with enough B-12, folic acid and B-6 to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
Deficiency of any of these vitamins has long been known to cause a type of anemia in which the red blood cells become enlarged. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is also related to nerve and mental problems. People who are vitamin B-12 deficient and take 1,000 mcg (1 mg) of folic acid, or more, per day will show an improvement in anemia but no improvement in nervous system damage. Subclinical or marginal vitamin B-12 deficiency is fairly common, particularly among the elderly. B-12 deficiencies have been associated with difficulties in thinking, poor memory, low energy, low stomach acid and high homocysteine levels. Low levels may also lead to a weakened immune system. It has been speculated that high doses of folic acid (> 1 mg) mask proper diagnosis of B-12 deficiency, increasing the risk of permanent nerve damage.
Women who consume healthful diets and adequate amounts of folic acid daily throughout their childbearing years may reduce their risk of having a child with a neural tube defect. Such birth defects, while not widespread, are very serious. They can have many causes. Adequate amounts of folic acid can be obtained from diets rich in fruits, dark green leafy vegetables and legumes, fortified grains and cereals, or a supplement. Folic acid consumption should be limited to 1,000 mcg per day from all sources, according to the FDA.
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