Folic acid is a biological term used for the combination of polycyclic and heterocyclic carboxylic acids of vitamin B-complex. To be more precise, it is a synthetic form of vitamin B9 and is also known as folate.
Folic acid or folate majorly promotes,
- Amino acid metabolism
- Synthesis of nitrogenous bases i.e. purines and pyrimidines
- Cell growth or Hematopoiesis
It is a major constituent of fortified foods. Pregnant ladies can better understand how much they are instructed to keep their diet rich in “folic acid” in order to prevent the baby from certain hazardous conditions associating with physical and mental impairment.
In addition to all of the wonders it can do, folic acid has been recently reported to be helpful for the people with elevated levels of blood pressure. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
It had reported that a supplement composed of folic acid in combination with enalapril can reduce the chances of stroke, among the hypertensive personnel, by 73%. It’s a significant finding if only you would know that stroke is the second leading cause of death across the globe.
The researchers recruited around 10,000 men and women for the study. All of the participants aged between 45-75 years old. It was assured that the patients had no previous medical history of stroke and any other cardiovascular disease.
Two groups were made for the experimentation. Participants from one group took a combined daily oral pill containing 10 mg of enalapril and 0.8 mg of folic acid. The other group was just given a certain amount of enalapril. The study was followed up for about 4.2 years. The enalapril-only group was reported to experience 210 first strokes, while the participants of the test group who were given the folic acid-enalapril pill experienced 161 first strokes.
Dr. Yong Huo, the senior author of the study, stated that a low platelet count combined with high levels of homocysteine increases the risks of the first stroke among individuals. Folate, also other B vitamins, can potentially break down the amino acid homocysteine which (in high concentration) deteriorates the endothelial lining of the arteries making a person to experience a greater number of strokes as well as elevates the risks of heart attack.
The study, therefore, suggests that patients who have a high risk of the first stroke should switch to folic acid supplementation in order to lower their risk dramatically. It further extends that folic acid presents a safe, inexpensive, easily accessible, alternative, and uncomplicated treatment for such major health issues.
Another study had also reported folic acid to reduce a person’s risk of the first stroke by 21 percent.
Note: The effect of folic acid to lower the risk of stroke was confined to the hypertensive individuals and was not observed in those who had a high platelet count and lower levels of homocysteine.
Dr. J. David Spence from the Robarts Research Institute’s Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Centre had also written that individuals who had higher levels of homocysteine and lower platelets are more susceptible or vulnerable to stroke due to the deficiency of vitamin B12. He added that the widespread belief that B vitamins do not reduce the risk of stroke is mistaken.
Folic acid naturally occurs in a variety of foods, particularly leafy green vegetables like spinach, asparagus, chard, broccoli, and collard greens. It is also found in peanuts, corn, mushrooms, and milk as well. Foods that are fortified with folic acid include cereals and breads.
People should definitely go for the rich natural sources of vitamin B-complex and folic acid because not only it aids in reducing the risks of stroke and heart diseases but also benefits the body against certain health issues. It’s also an excellent way to help stabilize your mood.