Can Folic Acid Improve Longevity

Can Folic Acid Improve Longevity ?

A type of Vitamin B that is necessary for the growth and division of cells in the body is folic acid. This particular vitamin is found in plenty in green, leafy vegetables. According to some, when a person consumes a diet that is rich is folic acid, the person can prevent development of cancer and also decline in cognition due to aging. However, when it comes to folic acid improving longevity, the jury is still out. Nonetheless, there appears to be some truth in folic acid increasing people’s longevity.

Folic Acid and Heart Disease
Folic acid, also known as Vitamin B9, has been a topic of several scientific studies. Some studies have shown that folic acid does not enhance life expectancy in people suffering from a heart problem. However, it is important to note that till now the number of such studies has been low to conclusively say that folic acid is able to prevent people from getting heart problems. On the other hand, many studies have shown that regular consumption of folic acid can reduce the amount of homocysteine in the blood and this, in turn, can reduce the chances of getting a heart attack.

Folic Acid and Colorectal Cancer
Quite a few studies have shown that folic acid does have the ability to reduce the possibility of getting colorectal cancer. In one particular study involving around 100,000 participants, it was found that in the first 2 years of starting folic acid, the more Vitamin B9 the participants took, the lower their chances were of getting colorectal cancer. During the course of the study just 1,023 participants ended up getting colorectal cancer out of the total participants.

The importance of this study was twofold. One, it showed that folic acid had the ability to reduce the incidences of colorectal cancer. Secondly, it also proved that taking too much folic acid does not increase a person’s risk of getting cancer.

Folic Acid and Menopause
The amount of homocysteine in the blood of menopausal women is high. This particular amino acid has the ability of destroying collagen and thereby resulting in the weakening of bones and blood vessels. Typically, when folic acid levelsin the blood are low, it results in an increase in the levels of homocysteine. Hence, heart problems and osteoporosis in menopausal women can be averted by taking supplementation of folic acid.

Deficiency of Folic Acid
Folic acid deficiency has been associated with some birth defects, primarily spina bifida. However, it can also prevent neural tube defects. Hence, pregnant women are often recommended to begin supplementation of folic acid the moment they find out they are pregnant. It has also been seen that when people suffer from folic acid deficiency, it can result in delayed healing and anemia.

Natural Sources of Folic Acid
You can easily get the required amount of folic acid from your diet. By including green, leafy vegetables in your every day diet, you will not suffer from folic acid deficiency. This, in turn, will protect you from certain health issues and thereby enhance your longevity. Eating vegetables, such as asparagus, spinach, legumes and beans can give you the required amount of folic acid naturally. Even organ meats, like liver, and brewer’s yeast are good sources of folic acid. If you are into exotic food, you can try consuming butterfly wings to get this form of Vitamin B.

You can even take supplements of folic acid. However, before you begin the supplements, make sure that you consult your doctor. Ask your doctor to prescribe the dosage, so that you take just the recommended amount that is right for your body and gender.

More Articles :

Can Folic Acid Improve Longevity Healthy.net: What Is Folic Acid
http://www.healthy.net/Health/Essay/What_is_Folic_Acid/544

Extreme Longevity: Increased Folate Consumption Reduces Risk of Colorectal Cancer
http://extremelongevity.net/2011/07/05/increased-folate-consumption-reduces-risk-of-colorectal-cancer/

About.com: Can Folic Acid Improve Longevity?
http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/f/folicacid.htm