Folic Acid to Boost Memory?
Folic acid has become one of the most prominent and essential vitamins in the human diet. It’s responsible for a wide range of processes and reactions occurring in the body. Due to folic acid being able to cross the blood-brain barrier, it’s known to have effects on the brain’s development and function as we grow older.
While we continue to learn the importance of this vitamin, there are plenty of questions that remain -- including whether or not folic acid can improve your memory. Of course, more research is needed surrounding the subject, but some studies show that it does have an effect on memory.
It should be noted that a majority of these studies support folic acid for memory in developing children and aging elders. In most cases, it’s much more effective when taken by pregnant women -- especially before they get pregnant.
To help you better understand how folic acid can help the brain and memory, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about the subject.
What is Folic Acid?
As we’ve already mentioned, folic acid is a vitamin that we consume on a daily basis (hopefully). Beyond that, it gets a little confusing due to the different types or forms of folic acid. Don’t worry; we’ll break it down for you.
A majority of the confusion arises due to the fact that the term “folic acid” is commonly used as an umbrella term. The problem here is folic acid isn’t an umbrella term. The true umbrella term is Vitamin B9, which includes the three major forms of this vitamin -- folic acid, folate, and methylfolate.
Folic acid is the synthetic form of Vitamin B9. In other words, it’s the vitamin created by man and fortified into certain foods and supplements. That’s why you’ll often see pregnant women and elderly people supplement with folic acid.
Unfortunately, folic acid is far from the most effective form of Vitamin B9. Instead, it would be best if you were more focused on folate, which is the natural form of Vitamin B9 that’s already present in food. In other words, we don’t have to add it to the food.
While folate is one of the better ways to consume Vitamin B9 on a daily basis, many people struggle to eat enough foods rich in folate -- like leafy green vegetables, broccoli, peas, and more. This is where folic acid will be suggested for supplementation, but there’s a much better way to do it -- methylfolate.
Folic Acid and the Brain
Now that we understand what “folic acid” is and where it comes from, let’s discuss its importance for the brain. We can break this down into five different benefits -- brain development, depression, epilepsy, cognitive decline, and memory.
Let’s take a closer look at these benefits:
- Brain Development - folic acid is extremely important for developing babies and will often be supplemented by the pregnant mother (typically before they’re even pregnant). This is due to folic acid preventing the risks of spina bifida, anencephaly, and other neural tube defects.
- Depression - due to a metabolic deficiency of folic acid, you could experience low levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. This can cause depression in some people.
- Epilepsy - with low serum and red blood cell levels of folic acid in the brain, epilepsy patients might experience a decrease in attention, mood, focus, concentration, and sociability.
- Cognitive Decline - as we grow older, our brains experience cognitive decline that eventually leads to a loss of function in the brain. In elderly people, folic acid helps reduce cognitive decline and allows the brain to work better for much longer. Very specifically, studies have proven this using the active form methylfolate.
- Memory - while folic acid hasn’t been proven to enhance your memory, it can help reduce memory loss due to aging (similar to cognitive decline). It can also help protect the brain from dangerous toxins. There is a specific ‘medical food’ which targets Alzheimer’s that contains methylfolate as one of its main active ingredients.
One of the main responsibilities of folic acid is reducing the amount of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that gets broken down by Vitamin B9, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12.
Signs of a Folic Acid Deficiency
Outside of that, there are several different signs that you should be on the lookout for when it comes to folic acid. Gray hair, weakness, fatigue, mouth sores, swelling on the tongue, growth issues, shortness of breath, pale skin, and lethargy are some of the physical symptoms you might see.
As we briefly mentioned above, folate deficiency can also be the root of -- or be associated with -- a variety of different diseases and health concerns. Some that you should be aware of are depression, birth defects like spina bifida, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, kidney issues, alcohol abuse, a lack of red blood cells, and much more.
Folic acid deficiency could also be brought on by the MTHFR mutation, which affects the body’s ability to convert folate into its active form.
Without folic acid in the body, you’ll likely experience a wide range of issues that will collectively contribute to a depleted quality of life and difficulty finding happiness when it should be easier in general.
How to Take Folic Acid
What about supplementation?
How Can Methyl-Life® Assist You?
- Beginner’s Bundle - in this bundle, you receive four products designed to help your body properly utilize Vitamin B9 and reap the benefits of doing so. It contains a 2.5mg methylfolate-only capsule, a hydroxocobalamin (active Vitamin B12) capsule, a non-methylated multivitamin, and a Magnesium capsule.
- Focus & Recall - while this capsule won’t contain methylfolate, it does contain several ingredients linked to an improved brain, memory, and focus. Each capsule will have Citicoline, Phosphatidylserine, and PQQ.
- For anyone interested in learning more about what Methyl-Life™ has to offer, you can contact us at any time and one of our professionals will assist you!