Folate supplements

Folic acid is the type of folate usually found in supplements and fortified foods, as it is the most stable. Some supplements contain folinic acid, the most active form of folate.

Pregnant women, the elderly, and those with absorption difficulties are likely to benefit from supplements. Any condition that increases metabolic rate, such as infection and hyperthyroidism; and any condition that increases cell turnover, such as rapid tissue growth or hemolytic anemia, increases folate requirements. Anyone taking medications that increase folate requirements may also benefit from supplements.

Surveys show that for the last 25 years, around a quarter of Americans have regularly taken a multivitamin containing 400 mcg of folic acid. It is becoming clear that those who do so have a reduced risk of disease, particularly cardiovascular disease. A woman who takes a folate supplement reduces the risk that her child will be born with a birth defect. However, research shows that only one third of women of childbearing age consume a supplement containing the recommended amount of folic acid daily.

Folate supplementsAccording to a 1996 study of prescription multivitamins reported in the Journal of The American Pharmaceutical Association, US researchers found that several brands did not deliver the expected amount of folic acid because the tablets did not dissolve quickly enough. The researchers examined nine multivitamin products to see if they released 75 per cent of the folic acid within one hour, as required by the United States Pharmacopoeia Convention's dissolution standard. Only three of the products did so and most of the products missed the standard by a wide margin. Folic acid is best absorbed in the area of the intestine that lies just beyond the stomach. If the multivitamins do not dissolve within about an hour, the folic acid may pass this area and the amount available for optimal absorption is not adequate.

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Folate Categories:

Folate health
Folate absorption
Folate deficiency
Folate sources
Folate recommended daily
Folate overdose
Folate supplements
Folate pregnancy
Folate interactions



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