Folate is really, really good for you

Posted in Random thoughts at 8:14 pm by ducky

I mentioned that vitamin D is really, really good for you. Folate — vitamin B9 — is also really, really good for you.

Taking folate significantly reduces the risk of bearing a child with neural tube defects (including anencephaly and spinal bifidia). It is so dramatic that many countries have started adding folate to grain products (in much the same way that vitamin D is commonly added to milk). In the U.S.A., for example, breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice, and other grain products have had folate added since 1996. Neural tube defects have dropped by 25% in the U.S.A. since fortification started.

Higher levels of folate intake also have been found to correlate with reduced risk of getting Alzheimer’s, reduced risk of stroke, and there is even some correlation (though not as strong) with reduced risk of cancer.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we got lower rates of Alzheimer’s, stroke, and cancer as a result of fortifying grains? Supplement that with a bit of vitamin D, and we just might get a lot healthier!


  1. researcher_hooligan said,

    June 19, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    I also recall reading a paper that makes a connection between levels of folate being negatively corrolated with levels of a nasty metabolite called homocysteine. A folate derivative is involved in generating the complex that deals with (converts into something much less nasty) this homocysteine, which has been corrolated with formations of arterial plaques.

    So… there is a lot to this folate story.

    BUT surplus folate doesn’t necessarily do anything for you. A vitamin B50 or 100 complex pill or an average multivitamin will usually have 1mg of folate. Given that a decent daily dosage is around 250micrograms, and absorption is nearly 85%… you just need to take a multivitiamin, Bcomplex, or eat lots of green veggies and fruit.

    Excillent post Ducky!, nice to see some health stuff here.

  2. Erik Hyter said,

    June 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Elevated levels of homocysteine have been associated with a number of disease states. However, benefits from efforts to lower homocysteine levels are either not supportive or not conclusive. This includes no evidence to support prevention of cardiovascular disease (including in those with kidney disease),;”,^

    Kind thoughts