Most of you probably are aware that folic acid supplements are highly recommended for pregnant women, but did you know that folic acid is also recommended for people who suffer from depression and hormonal imbalances too? Sounds great, but what are some of the other recommendations regarding folic acid supplementation? Read on to find out.
Folate is a B vitamin (the synthetic form is folic acid) that has been found to protect against birth defects, in particular spinabifida. It is advised that women who are trying to get pregnant and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding consume a folic acid supplement. Interestingly enough, folic acid supplementation has also been found to help prevent pregnancy amnesia.
People who are at risk of stroke can see their risk drop by an estimated 18% by taking a folic acid supplement. Further, when taken at higher doses, folic acid has been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and regulate hormonal imbalances, acting as a natural alternative to estrogen supplementation.
Finally, folic acid supplementation can help prevent memory loss in seniors who have sufficient quantities of vitamin B12 in their bodies.
All this sounds great, but is there a potential downside? Yes there is. For individuals with leukemia, arthritis or blocked arteries, consumption of foods fortified with folic acid can lead to certain amounts of folic acid remaining in the blood stream. This unmetabolizedfolic acid can cause complications for sufferers of these diseases/ailments.
Another word of caution. Research has shown that folic acid supplementation may help to ward off cancer in healthy individuals (which is great), but the opposite effect is believed to occur in people who already have cancer. In the latter case, folic acid may actually accelerate the growth of cancerous cells.
So, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant, take your folic acid supplement as directed by your physician. At risk of a stroke? Looking for a natural estrogen replacement therapy? Depressed? Experiencing some memory difficulties, but otherwise a healthy senior? Talk to your doctor about supplementation with folic acid.