Folate is the name of any compound which has vitamin-like activity similar to folic acid and is commonly referred to as folic acid. It is a B vitamin that supports the proper formation of red blood cells. Folate is particularly important for pregnant women to have normal levels of to ensure their child’s brain and spinal cord grow and develop properly while preventing any birth defects.
Genetic material: Folic acid is essential for the synthesis of DNA and RNA. It plays a crucial role in the growth and reproduction of all body cells, maintaining the genetic code, regulating cell division and transferring inherited characteristics.
Metabolism: Folic acid is essential for the metabolism of proteins. Folate converts the amino acid called homocysteine to methionine.
Brain and nervous system: Folic acid is involved in the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which help to regulate brain functions like mood, sleep and appetite. Folic acid is also essential for the development of the brain, spinal cord and skeleton in the fetus. Folic acid can be given to those suffering from insomnia, depression or dementia to help alleviate some symptoms.
Cancer prevention: When folate levels in the body are too high or too low you may raise your risk of cancer. A study was conducted in Italy involving higher folate diets, the results showed that the participants had a 50 percent reduction in precancerous lesions on the larynx (throat) of the patients. On the contrary, in a Canadian animal study, a low folate diet showed that a low folate diet may actually begin the development of colorectal cancer tumors. From the information gathered by both studies it is best to ensure levels of folate stay within a normal range to prevent damage from either extreme.
- Up to 6 months old: 25 milligrams per day (mg/day)
- 6 to 12 months old: 35 mg/day
- 1 to 3 years old: 50 mg/day
- 4 to 6 years old: 75 mg/day
- 7 to 10 years old: 100 mg/day
- 11 to 14 years old: 150 mg/day
- 15 years old and older: 200 mg/day
- 11 to 14 years old: 150 mg/day
- 15 years old and older: 180 mg/day
- 400 mg/day
- Up to 6 months: 280 mg/day
- After 6 months: 260 mg/day
Folate deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. Those who have diets that are low in vegetables, have frequent prescription drug and alcohol use and the sensitivity of folate to heat and light contribute to it being a worldwide deficiency. When folate intake is inadequate it affects the growth and repair of all the cells and tissues within the body. Insufficient amounts of folate can also lead to misshapen red blood cells and the inability to carry sufficient amounts of oxygen or certain kinds of anemia.
Sources in the Diet
The best sources of folate are in liver and dark green leafy vegetables. Since January of 1998 commercial grain products in the US have been enriched with folic acid, some breakfast cereals may contain up to the daily dose of folic acid.
Recent Studies and Articles
Folic acid and its affect on language ability in children
Folate preventing hypertension in women
Folic acid reducing childhood cancers
FOLIC ACID,10%,DCP , 44 LB (20 KG.) CARTON
FOLIC ACID 25% ENCPS , DP-21,22 LB (10 KG)CARTON
FOLIC ACID 10% MALTD , 40 LB (18KG) CARTON
FOLIC ACID 10% MANTL , 44 LB (20 KG.) CARTON
FOLIC ACID 25% PALM , DP-21,22 LB (10 KG)CARTON
FOLIC ACID 25% SOY/CN 44 LB (20 KG.) CARTON
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-  – Recommended Dietary Allowances
-  – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/folicacid.html