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Prenatal nutrition

Folic acid deficiencies are widespread; here's why nearly everyone needs more folate

Thursday, December 29, 2005 by: Alexis Black
Tags: prenatal nutrition, folic acid, folate

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Pregnant women plagued by cravings for pickles and ice cream must remember to include plenty of folic acid in their diets. Shown to reduce the risk of miscarriage and birth defects, folic acid – found primarily in leafy green vegetables – is an absolute necessity for any woman who is pregnant or is considering becoming pregnant. In fact, "health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend that all women of childbearing age take folic acid (0.4 mg daily) to protect their future newborns from developing a neural tube defect, an anomaly of the spinal cord," writes Burton Goldberg in Alternative Medicine.

However, it's not just expectant moms who could stand to add more leafy greens to their plates. Because it is useful in combating everything from acne and canker sores to osteoporosis and cancer, we could all benefit from adding more folic acid to our diets. Along with pregnant women, elderly individuals and people suffering from depression or nervous system disorders especially stand to gain from the addition of this B vitamin.

Folic acid, the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate, works primarily in the brain and nervous system and is necessary for the synthesis of DNA, the production of red and white blood cells and of norepinephrine and serotonin in the nervous system. Folic acid also aids in the elimination of the amino acid homocysteine from the blood, a breakdown product of animal protein (methionine, actually) that contributes to heart attacks. A lack of folic acid can lead to anemia, insomnia, irritability and far more serious health problems.

Despite its range of health benefits, many Americans are deficient in the vitamin, coming nowhere near the government's recommended daily allowance of 200 micrograms daily. "The average American gets only 61 percent of the old Recommended Dietary Allowance, which is too low anyway," says James Duke, PhD in Anti-Aging Prescriptions. Part of the reason for the shortfall is that more Americans are choosing to eat more animal foods – which are a poor source of folic acid – rather than folic-acid rich plant foods, like dark green vegetables, legumes, root vegetables and whole grains.

Dr. Andrew Weil, in Ask Dr. Weil, recommends the use of supplements to make up for the deficiency. "As many as 90 percent of Americans don't get that protective 400 micrograms in their diet – for example, you'd have to eat two cups of steamed spinach, a cup of boiled lentils, or eight oranges every day. So it's important to take a supplement, especially if you're a woman and considering having children someday." As Dr. Weil suggests, for women who are deficient in this essential vitamin, the health costs can be especially high.

Folic acid is essential for pregnant women. Not only does it protect against cervical cancer, it also aids in healthy prenatal development and can significantly reduce the risk of serious neural tube birth defects and abnormalities that occur in very early fetal development, such as spina bifida. However, experts say most women aren't getting adequate levels of folic acid early enough to offer the best protection against birth defects.

"Very few women of child bearing years are taking folic acid… If a person waits until pregnant, the fetal abnormality is already established. All women of child-bearing age who might become pregnant should be taking 400 mg of folic acid," advises Dr. James Howenstine in A Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work. To make matters even more difficult, women who take birth control pills are especially prone to deficiency in the B vitamin since birth control pills actually produce folic acid deficiency.

Men planning to become fathers need to monitor their folic acid intake as well, as low folic acid levels in males has been linked to low sperm count, and some studies suggest deficiency can also damage DNA carried by the sperm. Such damaged DNA could lead to chromosomal damage in a fetus, according to Bottom Line Yearbook 2004. In other words, both men and women who plan to have children should increase their folic acid intake for the sake of their baby-to-be.

Folic acid promotes good health for the mind and body, from the earliest stages of life to the latest. Men and women over 60 who feel fatigued and depressed may simply be suffering from a folic acid deficiency. In fact, folic acid deficiency has been linked to depression in patients of all ages, and according to Gary Null'sComplete Guide of Natural Healing, "the lower the level of folic acid in the blood, the higher the degree of depression."

Folic acid can also help ward off dementia, according to Patrick Quillin in Beating Cancer With Nutrition, who wrote that experts estimate up to 20 percent of senility in older adults is simply the result of a long-term deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B-12, which can be aided by taking supplements. However, when taking folic acid supplements, it is important to remember that folic acid and vitamin B-12 work most effectively together, so you should make sure you are getting enough vitamin B-12, as well. Vegans often struggle with this balance since their diets are very rich in folic acid but not in B-12.

The meager representation of folic acid in the American diet can be increased if we all just take a little more care in planning our meals. One way to up folic acid consumption is to make sure your diet includes raw foods, since heat from cooking easily destroys folic acid. And remember, sources of folic acid are plentiful – soybeans, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, peanuts, asparagus, citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, avocado, sunflower seeds, orange juice and don't forget those leafy greens – we just have to be willing to integrate these foods into our diets.

And who wouldn't be willing? After all, some added folic acid could go a long way in helping keep your nervous and circulatory systems in check, while also protecting your body from cancer and heart problems, as well as promoting healthy fetal development in babies. Folic acid is something we need at all stage of life, so we owe it to ourselves to get enough.

The experts speak on folic acid

General information on folic acid

A study is available from the Washington Council for Responsible Nutrition that reports women taking Vitamin E over age 50 and folic acid and Zinc during childbearing years would save Medicare 11 billion dollars, and overall reduce birth defects and coronary heart disease hospital expenses of 20 billion dollars per year.
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 100

WHAT IS IT? Even though your body needs only comparatively minuscule amounts of folic acid, it is a vital nutrient. Folic acid—along with all the other nutrients, of course—is your guarantee of optimum physical and mental health. Your levels of folic acid are dependent on outside sources; your body does not make it on its own. Furthermore, it needs vitamin C to work properly. It works in partnership with B12 and B6, as well as the other B vitamins. Folic acid is essential to the production of norepinephrine and serotonin, chemical go-betweens of the nervous system.
Complete Guide Health Nutrition by Gary Null, page 284

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that is crucial for the synthesis of DNA (genetic material) as well as for many other important cell functions. It was discovered in spinach leaves in 1941 and was named "folate," after the Latin word for leaf (folium). The terms folate and folic acid are roughly synonymous. For the sake of simplicity, I will generally use the latter term. Not surprisingly, this vitamin is mainly found in green leafy vegetables. Although folic acid is not an antioxidant, it boosts the antioxidant network and thus has a place in our story.
Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss PhD, page 92

WHO NEEDS folic acid? If you are pregnant, elderly, or suffer from any sort of nervous disorder, you may benefit from additional amounts of folic acid in your diet. Pregnant women, for instance, must be wary of folic acid deficiency. Folic acid supplementation has been helpful in preventing abortion and miscarriage. The elderly need additional folic acid, too. If you are over sixty and depressed, withdrawn, and chronically tired, you may be deficient in this vital element. Let's look at the results of a study in which folic acid was added to the diets of elderly individuals: three groups of patients were used, all with varying degrees of circulation problems. The first group, those with the least degree of difficulty, experienced improved vision less than an hour after receiving folic acid. (Among those with circulatory problems, vision is often impaired because of poor circulation to the optical tissues.)
Complete Guide Health Nutrition by Gary Null, page 284

Folic acid: a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex essential for the synthesis of nucleic acids and necessary for making red blood cells (hematopoiesis), so a deficiency of folic acid results in anemia. After absorption, it is successively reduced to dihydro-folic acid and then tetrahydrofolic acid, the parent compound of the derivatives that act as coenzyme carriers of one-carbon groups in various metabolic reactions.
Building Wellness with DMG by Roger V Kendall PhD, page 216

Red blood cells are built with Vitamins B-12, folic acid, and B6.
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 100

And remember, folic acid can be destroyed by exposure to heat and strong light.
Complete Guide Health Nutrition by Gary Null, page 286

Recommendations on folic acid

Doctors routinely advise women who are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, to supplement folic acid (a B vitamin also known as folate) as a means of safeguarding against birth defects such as spinal malformations.
Anti-Aging Prescriptions by James Duke PhD, page 219

It is becoming increasingly obvious that food supplementation is necessary to prevent cancer and other diseases. The prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences in 1998 called for supplementation with folic acid and vitamin B12.
Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss PhD, page 10

If you're concerned that your diet might not provide enough vitamin B6 and folic acid to prevent stroke, Dr. Lieberman suggests taking supplements of both nutrients. Aim for 300 milligrams of B6 and 800 micrograms of folic acid a day Vitamin B6 doses this high, however, should only be taken under medical supervision. Add E for extra protection.
Blended Medicine by Michael Castleman, page 10

Vegetarians owe it to themselves to be extra careful about their diets. As Richard W. Vilter, M.D., of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, warns, "Persons who eat absolutely no animal protein (called vegans) or extreme vegetarians have no source of vitamin B12, but much folic acid in their diets." Frequently in such subjects, neurologic abnormalities develop of the posterolateral column degeneration type. This is a situation analogous to a patient with pernicious anemia who is treated inadequately with a mixed vitamin capsule containing folic acid." There is another danger for those who abstain from animal foods, including dairy products: dietary deficiencies don't show up for five to ten years because the body is able to hold some B12 in reserve. Nerve damage may exist without signs of deficiency until it is too late. The result of degeneration of the nervous system and the spinal cord is so irreparable that death may be the result.
Complete Guide Health Nutrition by Gary Null, page 283

Benefits and uses of folic acid

Folic acid is important during the aging process because it provides nourishment for the brain. Folic acid supports the production of energy and the production of blood cells. Supplementing with folic acid may help in the treatment of depression.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 321

Three to four hundred milligrams of vitamin B5 and 150 mg of B6 should be consumed on a daily basis, while prescriptions of folic acid can serve as natural hormone replacements. Adequate quantities of essential fatty acids should also be consumed because they act as natural hormone supplements, prevent cancer, and can alleviate the symptoms of aging.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 258

Folic acid, the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate, is incredibly important. For one thing, folate is a key regulator of an amino acid called homocysteine, a breakdown product of animal protein. A number of studies have connected high levels of homocysteine in the blood to arterial disease and heart attacks. Folate helps the body eliminate homocysteine from the blood. Recently, Dr. Howard Morrison, an epidemiologist in Ottawa, was able to make a direct connection between folate and heart disease. He looked at folate levels in the blood of 5,056 men who had participated in a nutrition study in the 1970s, and he found that those with low levels of the vitamin were 69 percent more likely to have died from heart problems in the years since. Folate also has been found to prevent neural tube defects (such as spina bifida and anencephaly) in babies, which are caused when this structure fails to form properly. The neural tube is the embryonic tissue that later becomes the brain and spinal cord. Apparently folic acid is essential to its proper development. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration ordered pasta, rice, and flour makers to add folic acid to their foods as protection against birth defects.
Ask Dr Weil by Andrew Weil MD, page 98

Proper nutritional supplementation can significantly improve cardiovascular conditions, as well as prevent them from occurring in the first place. Useful nutrients include beta carotene; vitamins B3 (niacin), Be, B12, C, and E; folic acid; the minerals calcium, chromium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium; the amino acids L-arginine, L-taurine, and L-carnitine; coenzyme Q10; and pycnogenol.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 771

According to some studies, folic acid has been helpful in relieving depression, even when used in dosages as low as 400 meg. It can also enhance cerebral circulation. One study showed that people with low levels of folic acid were twice as likely as people with adequate levels to have narrowed arteries in their necks. Psychiatric symptoms also appear to be much higher in people, particularly elderly people, who have low folic acid levels. In one study, low folic acid levels increased likelihood of dementia by 300 percent. folic acid is especially effective at breaking down the common chemical homocysteine, which is a neurotoxin. An appropriate daily dosage would be 400 meg, the amount found in many multiple vitamins.
Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. with Cameron Stauth, page 247

Folic acid: This is another member of the vitamin B family, found in abundance in liver, kidney, mushrooms, spinach, yeast and green leafy vegetables. It has been used for decades to prevent and treat certain forms of anemia. But folic acid also increases the production of white blood cells crucial in the defense against cancer. In the late 1980s, scientists at the University of Alabama Medical Center found that the folic acid in dark leafy vegetables, oranges and liver could act together with vitamin B to prevent injuries to lung tissue and retard the development of cancer among cigarette smokers. These researchers found that smokers whose lung cells were injured had low levels of both folic acid and vitamin B12. Since these nutrients are necessary to synthesize DNA, a deficiency of one or both of these vitamins could make cells more susceptible to the effects of carcinogens. These vitamins also offered protection against birth defects and cancerous changes in cervical cells.
Cancer Therapy by Ralph W Moss PhD, page 42

Floss one to two times daily and then rinse mouth (for one minute) with several mouthfuls of liquid folic acid (0.1% solution) and then swallow. In one study, 60 individuals with gingivitis rinsed for one minute two times daily and had beneficial results. If you cannot find liquid folic acid, buy folic acid crystals in 800 meg capsules, empty two capsules in water and use this to gargle.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 1055

Lipotropic factors are compounds that promote the transportation and utilization of fats, and help prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver. They include methionine, choline, folic acid, and vitamin B12.
Cancer And Natural Medicine by John Boik, page 140

Folic acid helps against uric acid.
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 560

The four B vitamins that are most important for your brain are B12, B6, B3, and folic acid.
Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. with Cameron Stauth, page 246

The body uses 75-99% of its Calcium, with Phosphorus, Boron, Manganese, Silica, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Strontium; Protein; the Vitamins A, B-Complex, B6, folic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K to form bone tissue and teeth.
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 800

The primary nutritional building blocks of both neurotransmitters are the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine. To potentiate the action of these amino acids, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and B can be taken.
Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. with Cameron Stauth, page 213

Part of the vitamin B complex, folic acid is necessary for synthesis of nucleic acids and formation of the heme component of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
Britannica Encyclopedia Volume One, page 674

[Folic acid] is especially helpful for patients with a history of breast cancer, cervical dysplasia, and smoking. For smokers, it cuts down on the adverse effects of nicotine on the lungs.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 84

Treatments using folic acid

Folic acid is also used in the treatment of cervical dysplasia, a pre-cancerous condition of the uterus, and for this reason is also given to women who take birth control pills or who are pregnant.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 410

Nerves on edge? Folic acid can help. The Lancet, Britain's prestigious medical journal, reports, "In the past decade [however] there has been increasing interest in the role of folate [folic acid] in neuronal metabolism, in neuropsychiatric illness, and in antiepileptic and convulsant mechanisms." When a folic acid deficiency occurs, your nervous system suffers, because there is normally such a high folate concentration in your cerebrospinal fluid. In many psychiatric and geriatric patients with mental dysfunctions, deficiency is common. "This is a promising area for future research," The Lancet adds.
Complete Guide Health Nutrition by Gary Null, page 285

Dr. Aesoph adds that chromium aids in stabilizing the erratic blood sugar seen in alcoholic hypoglycemia, while choline and folic acid are also commonly cited as important supplements to assist in the body's recovery from addiction.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 480

Homocysteinemia: Persons with elevated levels of homocysteine are at risk for arteriosclerosis. This can and should be corrected with adequate amounts of folic acid, B 12, pyridoxine, and trimethylglycine. The only way you can be sure you are getting adequate amount of therapy is to regularly monitor blood levels of homocysteine. Current estimates are that 30 to 40% of arterial disease is related to high levels of homocysteine.
A Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work By James Howenstine MD, page 220

Vitamin B may help for premenstrual or mid-menstrual cycle acne. Coexisting gum problems suggest the need for folic acid.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 988

[For] pins and needles in the legs, take folic acid and B-12.
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 1100

Take 5 grams Vitamin C, 1 gram Calcium. 1/2 gram Magnesium, 100 mg. B-Complex, extra B6, B-12. and folic acid (for severe depression, requires Vitamin C for absorption).
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 800

Find relief in folic acid. One study found that women who experienced problems with constipation had low levels of the B vitamin folic acid in their blood. When the women began taking folic acid supplements, all of their symptoms subsided. Try taking up to 5,000 micrograms a day until the condition subsides, advises clinical nutritionist Shari Lieberman, Ph.D. But check with your doctor first, since dosages of folic acid over 1,000 micrograms should only be taken under medical supervision.
Blended Medicine by Michael Castleman, page 11

Herpes may be helped overnight by chewing folic acid with 500 mg. L-Lysine twice daily, and Zinc tablets.
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 455

If agitation or hyperactivity is seen, it is recommended that folic acid should be given in the amount of two 800 microgram tablets for each 125 mg of DMG taken.
Building Wellness with DMG by Roger V Kendall PhD, page 116

Disease prevention with folic acid

Folic acid, a B vitamin, is now known to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida, a serious abnormality of early fetal development. Unfortunately, by the time most women learn they are pregnant, the critical period has already passed. A major source of folic acid is the cooked greens recommended in the program (another is orange juice). If you are contemplating pregnancy or think there is any possibility that you could get pregnant, for insurance take a daily B-complex vitamin supplement providing 400 micrograms of folic acid.
8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 222

Women taking 400 mg of folic acid also have a decreased risk of heart attack and protection against Alzheimer's Disease and stroke. After 15 years of 400 mg of folic acid there is a 75% reduction in the number of women who get colon cancer.
A Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work By James Howenstine MD, page 19

According to University of Washington researchers, 13,500 to 50,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease could be prevented every year if everyone took folic acid (the supplement form of folate) every day. All you need is 200 micrograms a day.
Anti-Aging Prescriptions by James Duke PhD, page 145

SPINA BIFIDA. Failure of the spinal bones to close over nerves arising from the lower end of the spinal cord. May cause paralysis of the legs and incontinence. Associated with poverty, bad housing and is more common in Celtic races and among the sikhs. Most common cause is folic acid deficiency. Prevention only. A woman of childbearing age should increase her consumption of food rich in folic acid, such as Brussels sprouts, spinach, green beans, oranges, potatoes, wholemeal bread, yeast extract. New evidence suggests health is determined before birth by a mother's condition during pregnancy. The UK Department of Health advises 400 micrograms (0.4mg) folic acid until the twelfth week of pregnancy.
Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Thomas Bartram, page 25

Perhaps as much as 30 percent of all heart disease is directly caused by high homocysteine levels, he says. That's the bad news. The good news is that three B vitamins—folic acid, B6, and B12—can help convert homocysteine to methionine or cystine, thus protecting your heart. Dr. Baum recommends taking 800 to 1,000 micrograms of folic acid, 400 micrograms of vitamin B12, and 50 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 337

...Other nutrients may be equally critical to the prevention of osteoporosis. "Vitamin K, silicon, boron, folic acid, magnesium, and manganese all play a role in bone building and need to be consumed through diet or supplements," he says. To prevent osteoporosis, you must get sufficient levels and the proper ratio of these bone nutrients.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 840

Sources of folic acid

Folic acid, a B vitamin found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, can prevent neural tube defects in fetuses.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 866

Greens are high in vitamins and minerals, including iron and calcium in forms that the body can absorb and use more readily than supplements. For example, they are a major source of folic acid (folate), a B vitamin that regulates protein metabolism and offers significant protection against coronary heart disease. ("Folate" and "foliage" share the same root.)
8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 141

Eat at least eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day. These high-fiber, low-fat foods are typically rich in folic acid and other B vitamins, which reduce the risk for heart disease by helping to prevent arterial blood clots.
Bottom Line Yearbook 2002 by Bottom Line Personnel, page 331

The leafy green that Popeye made famous is among the best plant sources of folate. All you need is 200 micrograms a day. You can get more than that from 1/2 cup of spinach (or lentils, pinto beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, or sunflower seeds) or a cup or two of spinach soup. What a pleasant way to stave off stroke and heart attack! Of course, spinach and beans aren't the only great sources of folate. Others include parsley, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, endive, okra, avocado, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and orange juice.
Anti-Aging Prescriptions by James Duke PhD, page 145

A major source of folic acid is the cooked greens recommended in the program (another is orange juice).
8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 222

Beetroot is rich in potassium, folic acid, and the antioxidant glutathione.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 173

Legumes: Peas and beans, such as kidney, lima, soybean, navy, black, and lentils, are loaded with protein, folic acid, and amino acids.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 192

Diets rich in folic acid and B vitamins would turn out to have such powerful benefits for the heart that they could outweigh such "sins" as moderate red meat intake. Could the public be blamed for its confusion?
Betrayal Of Trust By Laurie Garrett, page 394

Folic acid—This substance protects against cervical cancer and is necessary for proper synthesis of RNA and DNA. It is found in beets, cabbage, dark leafy vegetables, eggs, dairy products, citrus fruits, and most fish.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 591

Dietary folate sources include leafy and dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, cereals, beans, poultry, and egg yolks, but free folic acid occurs only in supplements.
Britannica Encyclopedia Volume One, page 674

Folic acid [is] found in whole grains, chickpeas, soybeans, spinach, broccoli, and cabbage)…
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 745

Probiotics help suppress the growth of yeast, improve digestion by increasing the production of some enzymes, produce acids that fight bacteria, and manufacture nutrients such as vitamins K, Bi, B2, B3, B12, and folic acid.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 908

Foods rich in folic acid include spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, and whole wheat.
Blended Medicine by Michael Castleman, page 10

Many women have also long esteemed certain wild mushrooms, which some thought to be special gifts from Mother Earth. As we now know, naturally grown mushrooms (as opposed to commercial mushrooms grown in the dark) contain folic acid, which helps to prevent birth defects. These delicious and abundant choices, which do not have any poisonous look-alikes, can be eaten when they are underripe.
American Indian Healing Arts by E.Barrie Kavasch and Karen Baar, page 146

Folic acid deficiencies

Folic acid may be the most common vitamin deficiency in the world, since more people are choosing animal foods (poor source of folic acid) over plant foods. The name, folic acid, comes from the Latin term "folium", meaning foliage, since dark green leafy vegetables are a rich source of folic acid. Other good sources of folic acid include brewer's yeast, legumes, asparagus, oranges, cabbage, root vegetables and whole grains. Since folic acid is essential for all new cell growth, disturbances in folic acid metabolism are far reaching, including heart disease (due to more homocysteine in the blood), birth defects, immune suppression, cancer, premature senility and a long list of other conditions. Without adequate folate in the diet, cell growth is like a drunk driver heading down the highway—more likely to do some harm than not.
Beating Cancer With Nutrition by Patrick Quillin, page 180

Birth Control Pills: These pills produce folic acid deficiency. Where there is a lack of folic acid, homocysteine blood levels rise and this is associated with osteoporosis.
A Physicians Guide To Natural Health Products That Work By James Howenstine MD, page 130

Men Need folic acid too. Low folic acid levels in men are associated with low sperm count. A recent study has led investigators to hypothesize that low folic acid could also damage the DNA that sperm carry—which could lead to chromosomal damage in a fetus. Self-defense: Eat plenty of folate-rich fruits and vegetables and fortified grain products.
Bottom Line Yearbook 2004 by Bottom Line Personnel, page 334

B12 anemia is often accompanied by folic acid anemia. One of the reasons folic acid is important is that it fosters healthy prenatal development: It aids in the prevention of birth defects, such as those of the neural tube, and is crucial for proper cell production in the growing fetus. Folic acid is easily consumed by heat; hence, diets that consist primarily of cooked foods, with few raw foods included, often result in this type of deficiency. In addition, young children may develop a folic acid deficiency if they are given goat's milk. (Although superior to cow's milk in many ways, goat's milk lacks folic acid.) Teenagers and adults who are vegetarians may also fall victim to this form of anemia if they do not carefully balance their diets. Finally, folic acid anemia can be induced by alcoholism, which completely drains the body of this nutrient, and by the consumption of certain prescription drugs, such as oral contraceptives and anticancer drugs.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 32

Experts have estimated that up to 20% of all senility in older adults is merely a long term deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B-12. The RDA of folate is 200 meg for adults and 400 meg for pregnant women, although the Center for Disease Control has recommended that 800 meg of folic acid would prevent most cases of spinal bifida. Without adequate folic acid in the body, there is a buildup of homocysteine in the blood, which probably generates 10% or more of the 1 million cases of heart disease each year in the U.S.
Beating Cancer With Nutrition by Patrick Quillin, page 180

Deficiencies of folic acid and vitamin B12 may cause some cases of recurrent canker sores, says Flora Parsa Stay, D.D.S., a dentist in Oxnard, California. If you have recurrent sores, she recommends taking 400 micrograms of folic acid and 200 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 142

Persons with AIDS are often deficient in folic acid, selenium, zinc, and iron.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 497

Deficiencies in vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid can trigger such neurological changes as a drop in alertness and memory ability as well as numbness and tingling in the legs.
BioMarkers by Williams Evans PhD and Irwin H Rosenberg MD, page 250

Reduced levels of certain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids have been tentatively linked with Alzheimer's, including folic acid, niacin (vitamin B3), thiamin (vitamin Bi), vitamins Be, B12, C, D, and E, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and tryptophan.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 524

The elderly generally are deficient in Calories, Protein, Iron, Vitamins A and C, Calcium, the B-Complex, especially B-12 and folic acid, and that's with 70% of the elderly in institutions where the diets are carefully planned.
Anti-Aging Manual by Joseph B Marion, page 315

Low levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, pyridoxine, iron, and magnesium are some of the most commonly implicated nutritional influences on depression.
Beat Depression with St John's Wort by Steven Bratman, page 103

[Folate] anemia resulting from too little folic acid, needed for red-blood-cell maturation (see erythrocyte). White-cell and platelet levels are also often low. Progressive gastrointestinal problems develop. It may result from poor diet or from malabsorption, cirrhosis of the liver, or anticonvulsant drugs; it may also occur in the last three months of pregnancy and in severe hemolytic anemia (in which red cells break down). The blood profile resembles that of pernicious anemia. Taking folic acid causes rapid improvement; an adequate diet cures cases caused by malnutrition.
Britannica Encyclopedia Volume One, page 674

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