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Folic Acid (also known as Folate or Vitamin B9) is a type of Vitamin. Folic acid helps the body produce and maintain new cells. In particular, red blood cell formation is dependent upon adequate levels of this vitamin.
There are multiple researches done across the world over last many years that have suggested folic acid have a great role to play in improving health of your heart and lowering blood pressures. Here is a study that was done to show folic acid improves blood pressure in both men and women.
Studies have shown that folic acid has a relaxing effect on the inner walls of the blood vessels. This improves blood flows and thus helps bring down high blood pressure.
In addition, studies have shown that folic acid also prevents you from stroke or heart attacks. Your blood has a type of amino acid known as Homocysteine. You generally get it from eating various foods, especially meat. Homocysteine is being known to damage the inner walls of arteries. Such damage can boost the risk of a stroke or heart attack. Folate, along with other B vitamins, helps break down homocysteine and avoid the risk of stroke or heart attack.
When doctors prescribe folic acids, they look at your diagnostic chart, medical conditions and age.
In majority of conditions 500 mcg to 40 mg of folic acid per day have been used. The greatest benefit seems to occur with folic acid doses of 800 mcg per day or lower.
Folic Acid is majorly prescribed by doctors during pregnancy. However, both men and women have a daily requirement of folates. The same can be obtained through food or supplements.
Foods that contain Folate are:
b) Leafy green vegetables
d) Fruits like Banana, Papaya and Orange
e) Vegetables like Beetroot and Broccoli
Natural sources of folic acids are always better. However, there can be conditions where your body is not getting enough folic acid from the foods. In such cases, multivitamin supplements containing Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) are prescribed.
Do not start taking folic acids just like that. Get your folic acid levels in blood measured and consult a doctor before you start on your supplements.