Chances are if you are heard of supplementing with folic acid you think mostly about pregnant women. It’s true, folic acid is extremely important for the development of a baby but folic acid has benefits for women and men of all ages. Folic acid is also often referred to as folate and is considered an essential vitamin. You can find it most multi vitamins but it can also be taken on its own.
Folic Acid or folate plays an important role in the synthesis and repair of DNA. It helps to encourage cell and tissue growth. This makes it essential to help your body repair tissue.
We all know how it helps women once they are pregnant, but it can also have benefits for men as well. Folate has been shown to help increase sperm health and function. It is a natural way to help men try to improve the viability of their sperm especially when dealing with infertility issues.
Folate is essential for helping metabolize the amino acid homocysteine. Increased amounts of this in the body have been shown to cause heart issues. By adding more folate into your diet or by supplementation can help to keep homocysteine levels in check.
High cholesterol is a common problem faced by many individuals. Folic acid has been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels (the bad cholesterol) and encourage normal cholesterol levels. If you are on cholesterol medication it is not something that can completely replace it, but can be an option if you are looking to improve your health and lower bad cholesterol in your body.
You really can’t talk about folic acid without mention its great benefits in aiding in proper fetal development. A deficiency in folate during early pregnancy when many organs are forming can lead to neural tube defects. Increased folate levels prior to conception and during pregnancy can reduce these risks significantly.
Folic acid is essential to the body no matter what phase of life you are in. It is a common misconception that it only has benefits for pregnant women or women looking to get pregnant. This can’t be further from the truth. If you don’t already make sure you are getting enough folate either from foods, your multivitamin, or through direct folic acid supplementation.