Fabulous Folate facts
What is Folate?
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food. Folic acid is the synthetic form of Folate that you will find in supplements and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals and breads. Folate is a general term used for the various forms of the B vitamin. The parent form is folic acid.
Sources of Folate
Folate can be found in green, leafy vegetables, fruits, and dried beans and peas. Many grain products are also fortified with folic acid, such as breads, cereals, pastas, rice and corn meal. Spinach, salad, asparagus, tomatoes, cucumbers, whole-grain products, liver and some tropical fruits are also rich in Folate. Only trace amounts are found in meat and fish.
Functions of Folate
Folate helps to produce and maintain new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth, such as infancy and pregnancy.
Folate is also essential to help maintain normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which at high levels can be a marker of potential heart disease.
Folate & sex in men
Folic acids help metabolize proteins, which is a necessary process for all life processes, including reproduction. It is believed that folic acid work with testosterone to produce sperm, semen and other male characteristics; such as penis and scrotal enlargement, facial hair and a deep voice.
Folate deficiency is especially concerning for pregnant women, as it can cause birth defects, low birth weight babies, and premature birth. Other signs of folate deficiency include: sexual weakness (in men), reduced libido (sexual desire), anemia, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, forgetfulness and behavioral disorders.
How much Folate do you need?
For adults, an average daily intake of 400 micrograms of Folate will help maintain normal related functions.