- Written by Suzy Cohen Suzy Cohen
Everyone knows how important B vitamins are, especially for energy and nerve health. One of the most famous vitamins is B9, or what you see on store shelves as “folic acid.”
This is a nutrient that’s required for proper spinal development in fetuses and is very commonly suggested by obstetricians as a supplement for expectant mothers.
Folic acid is a synthetic precursor to natural folate, or 5-MTHF, which your body manufactures in a complex biochemical process.
Now there’s a new scientific paper that shows folate can help your brain. Researchers examined a bunch of clinical studies in what’s called a “meta-analysis” and discerned from all the data (across all 60 studies/publications) that folate can help with Alzheimer’s disease.
The article is published in Frontiers in Neuroscience. More specifically, they found that folate levels (tested via blood) were lower in Alzheimer’s patients compared with healthy controls.
Alzheimer’s is a memory disorder that affects more than 6 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
On an interesting side note, I can’t help but question how many people with memory disorders are suffering from the “drug mugging” effect of other medications they started a few years ago.
Did you know that certain drugs affect your ability to absorb folate, as well as other nutrients needed to make acetylcholine, your memory chemical? Folate is mugged by at least 178 different drugs, and probably more.
This is well documented in my world, and I’ve studied and written a famous book about it. A folate deficiency can change your personality.
As for folate versus folic acid, the choice is clear to me. Take the biologically active form (folate, which is also called 5-MTHF) and spend the extra money to buy the body-ready form of it — otherwise, you won’t get optimal effects. Don’t believe people who tell you that your body will convert the folic acid to folate.
Most people are not short on folate. But if you are, then you should be supplementing with the very best and eating foods rich in folate like salads, leafy greens, peas, broccoli, and hummus.
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This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat your disease. For more information about the author, visit suzycohen.com.