Folate is one of the most important water soluble vitamin B that occurs naturally in some food varieties such as spinach, turnip greens, asparagus, parsley, lentils, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, calf’s liver and collard greens.
In its synthetic form which is usually found in fortified foods and supplements it’s referred to as folic acid. The name was initially generated from a Latin word “folium” which means leaf. This nutrient was identified by a researcher who was looking for a sustainable nutrient to treat anemia during pregnancy.
Let’s now look at some of the functions of folate in the body.
Formation Of Red Blood Cells And Enhance Blood Circulation
This vitamin helps in development of red blood cells whose main role is to carry oxygen around the body. Deficiency of this vitamin hinders formation of this cells resulting in Macrocytic Anaemia. Folate also helps to ensure that blood circulation in the body occurs normally by preventing build up of Homocysteine Substance that is known to increase chances of one suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Hence increased intake of this vitamin can help to significantly reduces chances of persons suffering from cardiovascular diseases as well as enhancing continuous development of red blood cells.
Development of Body Cells
Virtually all body cells have a very short life span hence the need to ensure that cell numbers are replenished regularly so as to maintain normal function of the various body organs. Lack of enough folate, may lead to problems related to development of tissues, for example, persons with low amount of folate in the body can suffer from gingivitis, cleft palate and periodontal disease in the mouth. Lung and oesophagus cancer have also being scientifically linked to lack of enough folate in the body.
Boost Nervous System
The nervous system is one of the most important systems in the human body since it ensures that all body organs function normally. In infants it’s very important since it helps to prevent development of neural tube defects which may in turn affect the child’s nervous system later in life. It enhances nervous system by ensuring that there is a balance between all the message carrying molecules such as neurotransmitters. Other mental problems that can be solved by increasing the amount of folate in the body include non-senile dementia, mental fatigue, restless leg syndrome and depression. However it’s advisable to seek professional advice from an accredited health official so as to avoid complications that may arise after using supplements containing folate to solve some of these health complications.
Other health conditions that can be treated or prevented by using folate, include:
- Cervical dysplasia
- Cervical Tumours
- Cleft Pate
- Crohn’s Disease
Just like most medications, taking high doses of folate can result in health complications such as irritability, malaise, insomnia, intestinal dysfunction and nervous system complications. Doses greater than 1000-2000 micrograms can easily cause toxicity. Hence it’s of paramount importance to contact professional health care personnel before taking a particular dose.
Consuming foods that contain enough amounts of folate is one of the best ways to live a healthy lifestyle free from most diseases that can compromise your health status.