How Does Folic Acid Effect Your Brain?

folic acid benefits for brain

Cognitive function refers to the functions of your brain that make up knowledge, memory, and the means of acquiring information. This also encompasses your personality traits like reasoning, language, and attention.

Several factors are linked to damaging your cognitive function including:

  1. Damage to the brain or spinal cord
  2. Dementia
  3. Alzheimer’s
  4. Alcoholism
  5. Depression or Anxiety

Because diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia are some of the leading causes of death in the United States, researchers are beginning to look for alternative treatments to decrease the effects or prevent these diseases from occurring. Folic acid is one of these natural treatments.

folic acid brain

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid or folate is a water-soluble B vitamin. Folates are essential vitamins needed for healthy development of your nervous system. While folates are naturally occurring in elements like food, folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. Because folate is only found in leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits, manufacturers have had to come up with a way to add folate to food like pasta, cereal, and breads. Nowadays, folic acid is used to treat people with low levels of folate in their systems. Folic acid is also used to treat a number of other diseases because it helps your body produce and maintain cells and prevent changes to your DNA which can be cancer causing.

Folic Acid Function On Your Brain

Can Folic Acid Improve Cognitive Function?

Folic acid has be used to treat people suffering from memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia for some time now. There is some evidence that suggests elderly people who take in larger amounts of folic acid than recommended can decrease their chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

In some studies, consumption of folic acid improved scores on memory tests, however on other tests no positive or adverse effects were provided when increased levels of folic acid intake. While more tests are need to fully determine the effects of folic acid on cognitive function some clinical trials are yielding positive results.

Some of these results include:

  1. Improved memory
  2. Better change in cognitive function
  3. Significant difference in information processing
  4. Change in age-related cognitive issues
  5. Improved mental function in older people

brain and folic acid

Acidity Effects On Your Brain

What are the Side Effects of Taking Folic Acid?

Generally, folic acid is safe in small doses or a short amount of time. It has proven unsafe for individuals who take it in large quantities for an extended period of time. If taken in large quantities side effects can include:

  1. Stomach cramps
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Rash
  4. Difficulty sleeping
  5. Confusion
  6. Irritability
  7. Seizures

Want to know whether folic acid supplementation is right for you? Take our Health + Ancestry Report to find out which foods, exercises, and supplements are right for you.

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