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Folic acid (folate) is a member of the B-complex family. It is found in abundance in leafy green vegetables, but is often deficient in the standard American diet. Folic acid participates in a coenzyme reaction that synthesizes DNA needed for cell growth and new cell formation, and helps convert vitamin B12 to one of its coenzyme forms.135-137
Folic acid provides the following health benefits:
• Helps promote healthy DNA function138
• Maintains already normal homocysteine levels,which is important for heart health139-142
• Participates in the utilization of sugar and carbohydrates143
• Promotes healthier skin135
• Helps maintain a healthy GI tract144
• Maintains healthy endothelial function145
• Improves mild memory problems associated with aging146
A deficiency of folate can result in impaired cell division and protein synthesis. With diminished replacement of healthy red blood cells and intestinal cells, a decline in GI tract function can ensue. The systemic need for folate increases in certain states in which increased cell multiplication is needed. Chronic use of medications such as aspirin and antacids can interfere with the natural synthesis of folate.147
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