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How Folic Acid Benefits the Body – Everything You Need to Know

September 28, 2021

Did you know that the US Government considers folic acids so important that it mandated folic fortification in all cold cereals and baking flour starting in 1998 (including bread and pasta)

What are the benefits of folic acid that make it an important nutrient for your body?

Folic Acid vs. Folate

Folic acid and folate both make up vitamin B9. What’s the difference? It can be synthetically or man-made, but folate is the naturally occurring vitamin B9. All Cooper Complete vitamins contain Metafolin(r), folate in the natural form of (6S) 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). The active form of vitamin B9 is folate known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). Estimates suggest as many as 60 percent of us don’t convert them into the active form of folate the body uses – 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF for short, due to a mutation in one of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of folic acid. Unlike synthetic folic acid, 5-MTHF can be immediately used by the body without the need for an additional conversion via the enzyme 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Metafolin(r), which does not appear to mask vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, is safe and doesn’t pose a risk of unmetabolized Folic acids accumulation.

Folic Acid Benefits and Pregnancy Health

Folic acid is essential for women in order to prevent certain birth defects that can occur during pregnancy. These supplementation should be started before conception, according to studies. This will increase folic acids benefits and possibly reduce infertility. Anencephaly and spina bifida are less common when there is a higher intake of folic acid prior to conception.

According to the CDC, the first trimester is when you need the most folate during pregnancy. They mention that “Birth defects in the brain and spine (anencephaly or spina bifida),” occur within the first few weeks of pregnancy. This is often before a woman discovers she’s pregnant.

The CDC recommends that women take a daily multivitamin with folic acids in it to address this problem. It contains 400 mcg of folic Acid every day.

In addition, folic acid, and folate are members of the b-vitamin family. They can store in water for up to a day.

Food Sources of Folate

Folate (vitamin 9) is present naturally in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans and legumes. Expression of folate is in micrograms (mcg), of dietary folate equivalents. Here’s how much folate are present in common foods

  • 1/2 cup cooked spinach: 131 mcg DFE
  • Half-cooked medium-grain white rice
  • 64 mcg DFE for 1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
  • 1 slice of fortified white bread 50 mcg DFE
  • 1/2 cup turnip greens cooked: 32 mcg DFE
  • 3 ounces of cooked halibut: 12 mg DFE

Benefits and Heart Health: Homocysteine

They are beneficial to the body because it aids in the conversion of homocysteine via the body’s metabolism. High levels of homocysteine, an amino acid present in the blood, are linked to cardiovascular disease.

Homocysteine levels that are high can increase your risk of stroke, atherosclerosis and colon cancer. It is good for the body because it detoxifies homocysteine and reduces its levels.

The Cooper Institute researchers examined the effects of multivitamins on homocysteine. They found that multivitamins with folic acids as well as vitamin B12 had a positive effect on homocysteine levels.

Folic Acid: Different Forms and Their Absorption

Absorption of folate occurs naturally by the body from many different foods. The Pauling Institute research has shown that folate absorption is inherently limited and inconsistent.

Surprisingly folate in foods is 20%-50% more bioavailable than synthetic folic acid.

However, they does not exhibit this variability. Supplements containing folic acids absorb at a rate around 100%. The same amount are available in fortified foods that absorbs around 85%.

Folic acid consumption is best in supplement form. The body must first digest and convert the folic acid found in food to the 5-MTHF form it can use. Meanwhile, this process can be slow for some people. Dr. Joseph Bebe, a nutritionist, says that “roughly one-two Americans lack genetically efficient enzymes that aid in creating 5-MTHF.”

Cooper Complete multivitamins bypasses inefficiency which contain folic acid in its most efficient (5-MTHF) form. As a result, this allows you to absorb the most potent possible.

A team consisting of doctors and researchers formulate Cooper Complete’s nutritional supplements. Furthermore, the review and adjustment of all products ensures the availability of right amount of ingredients for optimal health.