How does folic acid contribute to reproductive health
26 August 2022
Folic acid is one of the B vitamins necessary for human development. It is essential for one stage of DNA synthesis – the division of cells into two new cells. Without enough folic acid, this process will not take place smoothly. People who are vitamin deficient are more susceptible to certain cancers and infections. They may also have a higher rate of spontaneous abortions. Therefore, the importance of folic acid in preventing these issues cannot be overlooked.
The Role of Folic Acid in Reproduction
Folic acid is essential for reproduction because it helps in the production of new cells. It also helps in the development of a healthy and functioning immune system. This vitamin is necessary for the body’s own natural defenses. While it is generally accepted that people who are vegan have a better diet than those who eat animal products, they are not exempted from the risk of deficiency. Even those who eat meat occasionally may not get the nutrients they need from it. For example, the iron in red meat is excellent at transporting oxygen to our tissues, but it does not provide the cells with adequate amounts of folic acid.
The problem is compounded for people who choose to undergo IVF treatment, which entails taking large amounts of folic acid daily. While some physicians recommend the daily dose, others recommend a weekly dose to prevent the risk of neural tube defects. The general consensus is that daily doses of folic acid increase the occurrence of multiple births and neural tube defects. This vitamin is best taken on an empty stomach to avoid any adverse effects.
How Does Folic Acid Contribute to a Healthy Immune System?
A healthy and functioning immune system is an important cornerstone of good health. The immune system protects the body from infections and cancer by defending it with antibodies and other proteins. It also contributes to tissue repair by disposing of dead cells and tissue fragments. These proteins communicate with other parts of the body to form a united front against threats. In other words, our immune system acts as a defense line against harmful substances, both natural and artificial.
Folic acid supports a healthy immune system by encouraging the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). It does this by regulating the production of growth factors by certain cells. One of these factors, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is a known stimulator of angiogenesis. When VEGF is abundant in the body, it will trigger the sprouting of blood vessels throughout the body. This allows for better oxygen and nutrient transportation to tissues, as well as for the body’s defense against infections. Oxygen is an element essential for the survival of all cells, and it allows for many biochemical reactions to take place. A well-functioning immune system ensures these reactions in the proper place and time.
The Roles of Folic Acid in Maintaining a Healthy Nervous System
Our nervous system is made up of neurons and supporting cells called glial cells. These cells work together to transmit and receive nerve impulses throughout the body. Neurons are cells in the nervous system that communicate with each other using electrical impulses. These impulses are transmitted over large electrical currents called action potentials. One of the important functions of folic acid in the nervous system is maintaining the normal formation of these action potentials. When these electrical impulses are not transferred efficiently, it can lead to cognitive impairment and even seizures. This can, in turn, lead to serious mental disorders. For instance, Alzheimer’s disease results in the death of neurons and the formation of neurofibrillary tangles. These tangles consist of twisted filaments which, when present in large amounts, can clog up the brain’s wiring and interfere with normal thought processes.
The exact relationship between folic acid and neurofibrillary tangles has not yet been fully explained. However, several mechanisms have been postulated. One theory suggests that folates act as a natural antioxidant. They neutralize harmful oxygen molecules before they can do any damage. This prevents the oxidation of proteins and DNA in the brain which, in turn, prevents the clogging of neurons. Another theory suggests that folic acid helps prevent inflammation in the brain which, in turn, prevents the clogging of neurons. Still, more research is needed to uncover the exact role folic acid plays in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Until then, it is recommended that people with Alzheimer’s or dementia should take folic acid supplements.
How Does Folic Acid Promote Cardiovascular Health?
Cells in the cardiovascular system transport nutrients and oxygen to the body’s tissues. They also remove carbon dioxide and toxins as waste products. One of the important functions of folic acid in the cardiovascular system is helping maintain a healthy red blood cell count. This, in turn, prevents anemia and the resulting weakness and muscle wasting. Anemic people are more susceptible to infections and heart disease. They also have lower oxygen carrying capacity than people whose red blood cells are not defective. Folic acid may also help keep the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system open and prevent narrowing caused by high blood cholesterol or pressure.
Cholesterol is an element which forms the building blocks of cells. For this reason, it is essential for the body’s construction and functionality. However, too much cholesterol can do damage. This is where folic acid comes in. It helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels by encouraging the liver to remove cholesterol from the blood. If the liver does not get the message that the blood is clean, it will keep on pumping out cholesterol at a high rate. This can lead to serious problems, such as atherosclerosis and heart disease. Folate deficiency has been shown to increase the risk of these diseases. Therefore, the importance of folic acid in cardiovascular health cannot be overlooked.
The Roles of Folic Acid in Maintaining a Healthy Bone System
The bone system serves important functions which include protecting the body against harmful substances such as bacteria and viruses as well as ensuring the proper body structure. It also provides a crucial role in calcium absorption for people who are vitamin deficient. One of the important functions of folic acid in the bone system is helping to keep calcium levels in a healthy range. Vitamin D is also needed for calcium absorption. When these nutrients are present in sufficient amounts, they will stimulate the formation of bone tissue by osteoblasts. These cells are responsible for laying down new bone mass and creating blood vessels in the process. Folic acid encourages the formation of new blood vessels by increasing the production of VEGF by certain cells in the body. VEGF is important for maintaining a healthy blood supply throughout the body. Osteoblasts need sufficient amounts of blood supply to grow and develop properly. This is why osteopenia, or poor bone health, is one of the adverse effects that may result from too much folic acid.
Another important function of folic acid in the bone system is helping to maintain a healthy red blood cell count. This prevents anemia and the resulting weakness and muscle wasting. Anemic people are more susceptible to infections and heart disease. They also have lower oxygen carrying capacity than people whose red blood cells are not defective. Some studies have even shown that folic acid may help keep the bone system healthy by preventing the accumulation of toxins within it. These toxins can interfere with the proper functioning of molecules and cells in the body. When they do this, it can lead to a number of diseases. For example, cadmium poisoning can cause osteoporosis and kidney problems. Lead poisoning can also cause bone loss and other cancers. Therefore, folic acid helps keep the bone system healthy by reducing the risk of these harmful substances accumulating within it.
How Does Folic Acid Promote Skin Health?
Our skin is one of the body’s largest organ systems. It is made up of several layers of cells which work together to provide a protective covering over the body. It also helps maintain a healthy immune response by acting as a frontline defense against infection. One of the important functions of folic acid in the skin is maintaining the health of the collagen in it. Collagen is an important protein found in the connective tissues of the body. It gives these tissues their elasticity and helps regulate their strength. When sufficient amounts of collagen are not produced, the tissues will lose their elasticity and become prone to disorganization and break down.
Folic acid is necessary for the proper synthesis of collagen. It helps regulate the formation of new blood vessels in the skin (capillaries). Therefore, it is important for keeping the skin healthy and its color even.
As important as folic acid is for several body systems, it cannot replace the need for vitamin B12 in the diet. Vitamin B12 is needed for the synthesis of DNA and RNA which play key roles in cell division and reproduction. It also helps maintain healthy red blood cells and nerve cells. People who are vegan may face deficiency in these areas. For this reason, it is suggested that they supplement their diet with vitamin B12 and folic acid to ensure they do not suffer from deficiency.