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Folic Acid as Brain Food

Two new exciting studies have illustrated more health benefits of folic acid. We have known for a while the importance of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy, as it is needed for the normal development of the nervous system, including the brain. Two recent large studies have illustrated the importance of folic acid in older people as well. In a study of 965 patients over age 65, the participants with the highest intake of folic acid had a 50% reduction in developing Alzheimer's disease. In a separate study of 818 people over age 50, 3 years of supplementation with 800mcg of folic acid a day significantly improved cognitive function, including memory and information processing, compared to the placebo group. As an added benefit, homocysteine levels (a risk factor for heart disease) decreased 26% in the folic acid group. Food sources of folic acid include green leafy vegetables, beans, sunflower seeds, eggs, and liver. Folic acid is best taken as a supplement with B12. Folic acid appears to play an important role in keeping us sharp mentally as we age- something we all could use! Make sure you are getting at least 800mcg per day from supplements.