Health Benefits of Folate for Children, Athletes and Seniors

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Folate is the form of B9 found in leafy greens and other foods and can be directly utilized by your body. For this reason, it’s the preferred form, and is particularly important if you have liver problems
  • Folic acid is the synthetic form typically found in supplements. Folic acid is not biologically active in and of itself, but provided your liver is healthy, it will convert folic acid into the active form
  • Research suggests 15% of adults over the age of 50 may be deficient in folate, and the older you are, the greater the deficiency. Folate may help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke by lowering your homocysteine level
  • Taking baker’s yeast, which contains folates, has been shown to minimize post-exercise immunosuppression in athletes, and folic acid supplementation can help lower the risk of cardiovascular events relating to exertion
  • 2018 research found higher folic acid exposure in utero was associated with improved cortical maturation in the child, which in turn predicted a reduced risk for symptoms of psychosis

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Gluten Weakens Bones

Years ago, a bread company boasted that its product “builds strong bodies 12 ways.” But if you’ve got a gluten problem, bread may actually be destroying your body, not building it. In particular, it may be weakening your bones. And unless you stop eating gluten-containing foods (made from wheat, barley and rye), the deconstruction of your bones may continue until you suffer debilitating osteoporosis.

Looking back on my own experience with celiac (an autoimmune reaction to gluten), I can remember several medical misfortunes that should have indicated to an alert healthcare practitioner that I was suffering a health problem that needed investigation. For example, in elementary school, while playing baseball, I broke a bone in my hand while fielding a relatively slow ground ball. Continue reading