- What is Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)?
- 11 Health Benefits of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
- Final Thoughts
Vitamin B9 benefits include preventing birth defects, preventing premature aging, preventing heart attacks. curing mental disorder and helping your body produce more red blood cells. Other benefits includes combating depression, acting as a coenzyme, supporting muscle build-up, combating free radicals, preventing cancer and aiding fertility.
Vitamin B9 or folic acid is required for DNA synthesis and for the metabolism of amino acids. It is primarily popular for its role in fetal health and development. Folic acid is highly recommended for preventing spinal cord defects and developing the nervous system of an unborn baby.
What is Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)?
Although folic acid and folate are used interchangeably, their metabolic effects are quite different. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 found several animal foods and plants. While folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin and is found if fortified foods and supplements.
Food Sources of Vitamin B9
|Collard Greens (1 cup): 177 mcg||Spinach (1 cup): 263 mcg|
|Flax Seeds (2 tbsp): 54 mcg||Mustard Greens (1 cup): 103 mcg|
|Oranges (1 orange): 40 mcg||Turnip Greens (1 cup): 170 mcg|
|Grapefruit (1 Grapefruit): 40 mcg||Peanuts (1/4 cup): 88 mcg|
|Romaine Lettuce (1 cup): 76 mcg||Sunflower Seeds (1/4 cup): 82 mcg|
11 Health Benefits of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Folic acid, iron and calcium have long been considered the most essential elements for prenatal wellness. However, there are innumerable benefits of vitamin B9 to support the overall health of the body.
1. Best Vitamin to Prevent Birth Defects
This is probably the top reason why the vitamin is hugely popular among pregnant women. Folic acid is best known to prevent birth defects and ensures good spinal development of an unborn baby. If an expectant mother suffers from vitamin B9 deficiency, it can lead to serious issues including neural tube defects.
2. Prevents Premature Aging
It is not uncommon for the skin to sag as we get old. However, research reveals that people who regularly consume folic acid can delay the onset of aging signs such as wrinkles. Vitamin B9 supplementation also delays aging by preventing the production of stress hormones in the human body.
Moreover, Vitamin B9 also boosts the metabolism and promotes efficient absorption of nutrients. Thus, people who want to stay young forever must include good sources of folate in their diet or use a folic acid supplement.
3. Prevents Heart Attacks
Not many people know that excess of homocystein (which is a kind of amino acid) leads to many heart complications and can increase your risks of experiencing a stroke. One of the most crucial benefits of vitamin B9 is that regulates the level of homocystein in the body to support good heart health.
Folic acid also controls the level of deposition of cholesterol in the human heart, to prevent a large number of heart disorders.
4. Cures Mental Disorders
Another significant benefit of consuming vitamin B9 is that you can successfully treat many types of emotional disorders. This is why many doctors prescribe a folic acid supplement to relieve anxiety and depression.
5. Helps Your Body Make More Red Blood Cells
Vitamin B9 is utilized in red blood cell division and replication in your body; and it supports the complex procedure of how your body produces these cells.
The deficiency of this vitamin can lead to a health disorder known as megaloblastic anemia. This is a health complication where the someon does not have a lot of blood cells, and the red blood cells it has are quite large. This vitamin is directly involved in helping your body enhance the process of generating more blood cells (erythropoiesis), along with other B-Complex vitamins.
Although B9-vitmains aren’t the only nutrients needed to produce red blood cells, it does play a crucial role in the process. Hence, it is a universal supplement to recommend for treating anemia.
6. Combats Depression
Folate has natural antidepressant properties. If you are feeling low for no reason, it could be due to low folate levels. This is because folate plays a vital part in the production of serotonin and dopamine (the ‘feel good’ hormones). Depression and anxiety are caused by an imbalance of both these important neurotransmitters.
Folic acid offers the same effects as many popular antidepressants. Vitamin B9 is immensely useful for relieving depression symptoms and lowering anxiety levels among patients. Folic acid also helps individuals who suffer from eating disorders.
It is common for women to experience hot flashes, post-menopause, which take place due to an estrogen deficiency and a disturbance in the thermoregulatory system. Folic acid is shown to increase estrogen levels and reverses depression symptoms in women after menopause.
7. Coenzyme Activity
Vitamin B9 is regarded as an important co-enzyme. This implies that it works efficiently with other enzymes to perform many crucial processes of the body such as DNA synthesis.
8. Supports Muscle Build-up
If you are looking forward to a harmless way of building and supporting muscle tissues; vitamin B9 supplementation is one of the best ways to ensure that you protect your muscles from the effects of daily wear and tear.
9. Combats Free Radicals
Folic acid works like an antioxidant to destroy free radicals in the body. In addition to vitamin C and vitamin E, this vitamin is essential to get rid of free radicals which are actually byproducts of oxygen metabolism and lead to toxicity.
We all know how this damage can negatively affect the central nervous system and lead to complications such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Moreover, this activity also results in many types of inflammatory diseases as well as diabetes and hair loss.
When you regularly consume folic acid, the body successfully flushes out toxins from the body and keeps you safe from more than 20 diseases which are associated with free radicals in the body.
10. Prevents Cancer
Another remarkable benefit of folate is that it is crucial for the formation of nucleic acids and functions as a cofactor in the stability, repair and synthesis of DNA molecules. This is vital for controlling cell differentiation and the expression of genes. It is common for abnormalities to develop when DNA methylation is not controlled; eventually leading to cancer. The risks of developing many forms of cancer can be reduced by maintaining a regular consumption of vitamin B9.
11. Good for Fertility
Again, since folate helps synthesize your DNA, it promotes the survival and development of the fetus. According to a study involving guinea pigs, researchers observed that having insufficient amounts of folic acid in your body even for a temporary time period can lead to adverse consequences for your reproductive health.
Hence, you can enhance your fertilization level by consuming folic acid.
Thanks to a wide range of benefits, folic acid is considered as a treasure trove of health benefits. Make sure you include as many folate sources as you can in your diet and invest in a good vitamin B9 supplement to reap its valuable benefits or ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate supplement with the correct dosage.