Soul Nutrition Folic Acid 400mcg 60 Tablets
The basic mechanism of action underlying folic acid is its role in cellular division and DNA synthesis.
Without folic acid cells do not divide properly. Folic acid is critical in the nervous system development of the foetus and for healthy red blood cell production. Folate is also required for the regeneration of methionine from homocysteine and plays a key role as a ‘methyl-donor’.
- NEURAL TUBE PROTECTION – Folic acid supplementation of 400 ugs daily in early pregnancy has been shown to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects by 48% to 80%. Numerous studies have suggested that it would appear prudent to utilise folic acid pre-conceptually and throughout pregnancy. The Government’s Chief Medical Officer recommends all women to supplement with 400ug daily from 12 weeks prior to conception.
- CARDIOVASCULAR PROTECTION – Folic acid plays a key role in protecting the cardiovascular system by regulating body concentrations of homocysteine, an intermediate in the conversion of the amino acid methionine to cysteine. The lower the folic acid intake the higher homocysteine levels rise increasing the risk of atherosclerosis (artery furring). Homocysteine would appear to promote atherosclerosis by directly damaging the artery and reducing the integrity of the vessel wall. Elevated levels of homocysteine are found in 20% to 40% of patients with heart disease.
- DEPRESSION – Folic acid exerts a mild anti-depressant effect and correcting deficiency has brought about dramatic results in mental and psychological symptoms in patients, especially the elderly suffering from impaired mental function. Its anti-depressant effects are due to its function as a methyl donor and increasing the brain content of serotonin, SAM (S-adenosyl-methionine), and BH4 (tetrahydrobiopterin). BH4 functions as an essential coenzyme in the activation of enzymes that manufacture monoamine neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine from their corresponding amino acids. E.g. tryptophan > 5HTP > serotonin.
- OSTEOPOROSIS – Elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood of postmenopausal women have an adverse effect on collagen cross-linking, leading to defective bone matrix development. Given that osteoporosis is a condition characterised by both a loss of the protein structure and well as the mineral content of the bone it is likely that the homocysteine theory carries validity. Folic acid supplementation has been shown to lower homocysteine levels in postmenopausal women even when their folic acid status was within the normal range.
- CERVICAL DYSPLASIA – This is an abnormal condition of the cells of the cervix. It is generally regarded as a pre-cancerous lesion and has risk factors similar to those of cervical cancer. It is suggested that oral contraceptives interfere with folate metabolism resulting in cervical tissue deficiency of folate.