Life Extension Europe: Folate enriched broccoli, on a wooden counter

Folate

What is folate? Folate is vitamin B9. The food folate is found in; includes vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. 

Folate deficiency

Cooking these vegetables can lead to a loss of folate, potentially reducing our intake of this crucial nutrient.

Folate vs folic acid

Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9, and folic acid is the synthetic version, produced for health supplementation. 

Folic acid supplement

Recent research spanning over five years has focused on the impact of folate supplementation on older adults, revealing its positive effects on cognitive health. 

In their latest two-year study, researchers examined the cognitive benefits of folic acid supplementation.

Half of the participants received folic acid supplements (400 mcg/day), while the rest were given standard care advice on nutrition and physical activities to support memory in later life.

The study found that after 24 months, the group receiving folic acid supplements showed:

Enhanced cognitive performance

  • Participants in the folic acid group showed significant improvements in cognitive test scores, including increases in full-scale IQ, verbal IQ, and memory tests. 
  • Their scores on six verbal IQ tests and the overall score across all 11 tests indicated a noticeable boost in cognitive abilities.

Positive changes in DNA methylation markers:

  • Folic acid supplementation further led to changes in genes related to DNA methylation, a process crucial for metabolizing homocysteine. 
  • The supplementation increased levels of folate and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a compound vital for producing key neurotransmitters and combating depression. 
  • Meanwhile, levels of homocysteine and S-adenosyl homocysteine (SAH), both linked to adverse cognitive outcomes like stroke and dementia, were reduced. 
  • The SAMe/SAH ratio, an indicator of healthy methylation, also improved.

These findings underscore the importance of folate in maintaining cognitive function. Supplementation could be a beneficial strategy to support brain health in older adults.

References

Optimized Folate
#01939 1700 mcg 100 Vegetarian Tablets

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