What is folic acid?
Folic acid (or folate) is a member of the B-vitamin family found in green, leafy vegetables. It plays an important role in several chemical processes in your body. Many medical experts are currently recommending that people increase their intake of folic acid because folic acid lowers homocysteine levels in our bodies. Homocysteine is a by-product of the metabolic breakdown of a particular amino acid (the building blocks of proteins) called cysteine. There is a growing amount of scientific evidence suggesting that people with high levels of homocysteine are more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke. Although the issue remains to be settled, some studies suggest that people with diabetes have higher than normal amounts of homocysteine in their bodies, and this fact may be related to the increased number of heart attacks and strokes that occur in people with diabetes. Thus, it may be beneficial for people with diabetes to supplement their diet with the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 180–200 mcg per day for men and women and 400 mcg for pregnant women. This is the amount of folic acid usually found in daily multivitamin preparations.
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