How Vitamin B9 Can Improve Your Health

Vitamin B9
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Folate is a water-soluble vitamin the body uses to maintain its genetic building blocks (DNA and RNA). It also plays an important role before and during pregnancy, helping prevent serious birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

The body does not store vitamin B9, so it must get enough from a healthy diet or supplements. Studies show that folic acid reduces homocysteine levels and protects against heart disease.

Prevents Neural Tube Defects

Folic acid prevents neural tube defects, or NTDs, which are birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. These are among the most common congenital conditions, and can lead to serious problems for babies. Getting enough folic acid before and during early pregnancy is one of the best ways to prevent NTDs.

During fetal development, the embryonic neural tube closes somewhere along its length to form the brain and spinal cord. A NTD occurs when this tube fails to close completely, leading to a variety of birth defects in the brain, spine and surrounding tissues. The most common NTDs are spina bifida, encephalocele and anencephaly.

Doctors and scientists don’t know exactly what causes these congenital conditions, but they do believe that low levels of folic acid in the body before and during early pregnancy play a role. They also know that taking a daily dose of 400 mcg of folic acid prevents these NTDs.

The NTD rates in the United States dropped significantly after the government mandated in 1998 that certain foods be fortified with folic acid. However, some groups still have higher risk of developing folate deficiency and NTDs, including minorities, obese women, and those with a specific variant of the MTHFR gene.

Getting enough folic acid before and through the first trimester of pregnancy can reduce your risk of NTDs by up to 50%, which is why doctors recommend all women capable of becoming pregnant take a folic acid supplement containing 400 mcg a day.

US Preventive Services

The US Preventive Services Task Force and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists both recommend that all women who can become pregnant start taking a folic acid supplement before they try to conceive, and continue through the first trimester of pregnancy.

NTDs can cause permanent disabilities, so it’s important to take a daily folic acid supplement. You should also make sure to eat foods that are fortified with folic acid, like breads and cereals. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns you have with your health care provider.

Reduces Homocysteine Levels

The sulfur-containing amino acid homocysteine can cause artery damage, blood clots and cardiovascular disease when levels are high. Folate, in combination with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, can help to reduce these levels. Homocysteine may also play a role in cognitive decline and dementia. Folate helps to prevent homocysteine buildup by increasing its breakdown and excretion. Fildena 100 mg and Fildena 200 mg are also improve men’s health.

Several large-scale epidemiological studies have linked elevated homocysteine with an increased risk of heart disease, especially coronary artery disease and stroke. Moreover, homocysteine has been shown to be involved in the development of other disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive deficits and certain cancers. Furthermore, elevated homocysteine levels are associated with decreased folate status. Folic acid has been shown to decrease plasma homocysteine levels and ameliorate many of the adverse effects of high homocysteine.

In one study, researchers found that folic acid supplementation significantly reduced the risk of high homocysteine levels and related cardiovascular events in people with low folate intake. Folic acid also significantly reduced the risk of an abnormal echocardiogram in patients with vascular disease.

Other research has shown that taking a combination of folic acid, B6, and B12 can significantly lower homocysteine levels. However, other randomized trials have found that these vitamins do not reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event or stroke in people who already have a history of vascular disease.

Folate

Folate is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 that people get from food. It is important to eat foods that are rich in folate, such as leafy green vegetables, beef liver and oranges. People can also get folic acid in fortified cereals and breads. If you are concerned about your homocysteine levels, talk to your doctor about a dietary plan.

Getting enough folate is essential for all pregnant women and people who are trying to conceive. A deficiency can lead to a number of symptoms, including mouth ulcers, fatigue and a low mood. Fortunately, most people can get the amount of folate they need from a healthy diet. A deficiency is more common in older people and those with conditions that affect the absorption of folate.

Prevents Anemia

A lack of red blood cells can cause anemia, which makes it harder for the body to get oxygen throughout the system. Folate (vitamin B9) is essential for the formation of healthy new red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all tissues and organs. People with vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anemia have underdeveloped or abnormally large red blood cells. They may also have fewer red blood cells than normal and the cells don’t live as long. This is called megaloblastic anemia.

You can prevent vitamin B12 or folate deficiency by eating a healthful diet that includes leafy vegetables, beans, citrus fruits and whole grains. You can also find the vitamins in dietary supplements. When you take a supplement, look for one that is methylated or cobalamin, which is the active form of vitamin B9. Methylated forms of the vitamins are better absorbed than the simpler folic acid.

If you’re pregnant, getting enough folate is especially important. It helps prevent birth defects and can help your fetus develop properly. Folate is also necessary for producing DNA, which carries genetic information in the cells of your body and the fetus.

Vitamin can lead to anemia

A low level of the vitamin can lead to anemia, which causes tiredness and weakness. You can also have trouble concentrating and thinking clearly. If you have a serious anemia, it can be life-threatening. If you’re concerned about your vitamin B9 intake, talk to your doctor or dietitian.

The best sources of vitamin B9 are the foods you eat, including green leafy vegetables, beans, oranges, squash and other citrus fruits and fortified bread. You can also find it in dietary supplements, but be careful when choosing a product. Choose a supplement that has been verified for quality and purity by an independent third party. Some dietary supplements can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, so if you have any questions, talk to your doctor.

Prevents Heart Disease

Vitamin B9, also known as folate and folic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins that are needed to help convert food into fuel for the body. It’s also necessary for cell growth and repair, producing red blood cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system. It’s found in supplements and added to fortified foods. It is water-soluble, meaning excess amounts leave the body through urine. Folate occurs naturally in foods, such as green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.

In addition to preventing neural tube defects in newborns, early studies suggest that folic acid may prevent heart disease by helping to lower levels of homocysteine, a chemical that can build up and harden arteries. High homocysteine levels are associated with a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and dementia. Folic acid has also been shown to reduce symptoms of depression, such as irritability and trouble sleeping.

Deficiency of many different vitamins

Deficiency of many different vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin C and vitamin B6, has been linked to heart disease. Folic acid and a combination of other B vitamins have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), a condition in which fatty deposits form in the arteries. It has also been shown to decrease oxidative stress, which can damage arteries and cause inflammation.

Many multivitamins contain folic acid, particularly prenatal vitamins for pregnant women. In addition, people who are expecting a baby or are trying to get pregnant should make sure they’re getting 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid daily. If you’re not getting enough in your diet, ask your healthcare provider about taking a supplement.

Despite its many benefits, vitamin B9 can have adverse effects if taken in excess. Ingesting too much can result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It’s also important to note that dietary supplements are not regulate by the FDA and are not test for safety or efficacy before they hit store shelves. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement, especially when you’re already taking medication or have a medical condition. Read More Blog..

 

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