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Why Do e Need Folic Acid?

October 1, 2011

Posted by: Ronnie Marsh

Why Do We Need Folic Acid?

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Folic acid is a B vitamin similar to folate. Folate is the B vitamin contained in plants – foliage. Folate is a dominant B vitamin in leafy green vegetables as well as in fruits.

Folate is needed to build healthy blood cells, nerve and brain cells, to detoxify, and to build a healthy immune system. People who get the right amount of folate have a lower risk of many cancers, strokes, heart attacks and nervous system defects such as neural tube defects in babies (that’s why mothers-to-be are encouraged to take folic acid supplements).

The bad…
Every story has an element of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” The story of folic acid is the same. Taking too much folic acid over too long a time period – that is, taking folic acid like a drug and not a nutrient – can have very damaging effects on our system. Whereas low doses can reduce our risk of certain diseases and disorders, too much folic acid actually increases the risk of some cancers and other diseases. Too much folic acid mutates our DNA; the right amount heals our DNA. Continue reading this article to see how much is enough… and how much is too much.

The ugly…
Much of the damage from folic acid excess is actually caused by an increase of histamine. That’s a familiar word to many of us. Histamines make our eyes, ears, nose and throat red, itchy, sore and irritated. Folic acid takes essential amino acids and reshapes them into histamines. Histamines make us miserable but they are “just doing their job.” The function of histamines is to flood our tissues with water and dilute an irritant like pollen, or a protein from a food allergy or a toxin from our environment.

The solution to pollution is dilution!

Increasing folic acid beyond dietary levels increases the amount of histamine in our bloodstream and also increases the likelihood that we will have an over-the-top response to our toxic world. If we have a toxin (such as a grain of pollen) irritate our nose, the excessive response may be a sneezing fit and uncontrollable, miserable symptoms. If the toxin hits our digestive tract (such as a food allergy) or reproductive system (such as “bad’ bacteria), the undue histamine response will inflame our tissues and may even trigger disease.

Histamines also trigger our immune system into a body-wide inflammatory response we call an auto-immune disease. Finally, histamines inflame our brain, triggering everything from insomnia and hyperactivity to autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

The good!
The benefits of folic acid (FA) supplementation are many and fantastic: FA helps protect against birth defects when taken in the first trimester of pregnancy; FA helps reduce the risk for cancer, heart attacks, stroke, depression and bipolar disorder. FA enhances memory, reduces migraines, promotes healthy gums and improves hearing. FA is good for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, types of dermatitis and even restless legs syndrome.

Folic acid is very, very good for us!

How much is enough?
We have agreed that people should eat their fruits and vegetables, right? Children need 5 servings daily, women need 7 servings and men need 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every single day. That will provide the 200 (children) to 600 micrograms (mcg) of folate that people need every day. And this is a case of “more is better”: people can get up to 2,500 mcg of folate – including supplemental folic acid – every day.

Eat your fruits and vegetables for the powerful benefits of folate and feel free to supplement your diet with this wonderful, powerful nutrient with so many extraordinary health benefit

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Take care,

Ronnie Marsh

 

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