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Folic Acid and Cognitive Functions
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Folate, the natural form of synthetic folic acid, is found in
broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, chickpeas, yeast extract,
brown rice and fruit including oranges and bananas.

Folic acid supplementation appears to improve cognitive
function, particularly memory, among older adults with
poor folate status.

Jane Durga, Ph.D., of Wageningen University at
Wageningen University reported three years of daily 800
μg folic acid orally bestowed on men and post-
menopausal women aged between 50 and 70 the
equivalent of a 4.7- to 6.9 years of younger memory in the
Jan. 20 issue of The Lancet.

The study evaluated persons with elevated plasma total
homocysteine (13 μmol/L or more) who could be expected
to benefit from homocysteine-lowering folic acid.
Homocysteine is a blood chemical linked both to heart
disease and dementia.

All 818 participants also had normal serum vitamin B12 at
baseline. Treatment was effective with serum folate
concentrations increasing by 576% and plasma
homocysteine falling by 26% for the folic acid group
compared with placebo.

About Folic Acid

Folic acid is a B vitamin. Our bodies use it to make new
cells. Everyone needs folic acid. But for women who can
get pregnant, it is really important! If a woman has
enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it
can help prevent major birth defects of her babyÂ’s brain
and spine. These birth defects are neural tube defects or
NTDs. Women need to take folic acid every day, starting
before they are pregnant to help prevent NTDs. CDC and
the U.S. Public Health Service urge every woman who
could become pregnant to get 400 micrograms (400 mcg)
of synthetic folic acid every day.

Folate helps produce and maintain new cells. This is
especially important during periods of rapid cell division
and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is
needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells.
It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to
cancer. Both adults and children need folate to make
normal red blood cells and prevent anemia. Folate is also
essential for the metabolism of homocysteine, and helps
maintain normal levels of this amino acid.

Folate   Health EQ          Home

Cognitive Function Boosted by Folic Acid Supplements
MedPage Today January 19, 2007 Folic acid boosts minds
of over-50s, study finds guardian.co.uk January 19, 2007
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