Lack OF Folic Acid (vitamin B-9) And Birth Defects.
Filed Under: Health & Science | Posted: 01/19/2011 at 8:28PM
Comments | Region: United States
Recently I read about a man and his lifelong battle with complications from spina bifida. What is spina bifida and what can cause it?
Spina bifida: a developmental defect in which the newborn baby has part of the spinal cord and/or coverings (neural tube) exposed through a gap in the backbone. Meaning: the bony arches of the spine failed to close properly. Lack of folic acid in the diet and poor diet can be of the causes of spina bifida.
Folic acid is often prescribed for pregnant women but there are many other health related issues where low levels of folic acid is concerned. Folic acid: aka vitamin B-9, folate and many others are all forms of water-soluble vitamin B9.
Low B-9 levels in the diet, and other micro-nutrients, can cause preventable deformities and diseases, especially during fetal development. Humans need B-9 to synthesize DNA, repair DNA and it’s a cofactor in biological reactions. B-9 is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth (ie pregnancy). Children and adults require vitamin B-9 to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia.
A lack of B-9 has been connected to heart disease, stroke, obesity, depression, poor memory and lowered mental agility, schizophrenia, allergic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, renal (kidney) disease, type 1 diabetes, macular degeneration, bone health, infectious diseases, bone loss in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, certain types of cancer and birth defects.
B-9 isn’t just for kids and pregnant women. It has been shown to help seniors with hearing loss. If your ears aren’t full of wax and you don’t hear as well as you used to, you may be deficient in vitamins B-12, B-9 and B-6.
In a small study of 126 seniors, researchers tested hearing and took blood samples. Those with hearing loss had folate levels between 32 and 35 percent lower than patients with no hearing problems. The study appeared in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and stated those with hearing loss were more likely to suffer from low B12 levels. It might be possible to prevent, halt or even reverse hearing loss with a couple of common vitamins.
Might is the key word. if you listen to loud music 24/7 or have hearing loss due to high noise levels that have destroyed the inner ear mechanisms, no supplement is going to save your hearing.
Foods high in folic acid are liver, kidneys, yeast plus leafy and green vegetables. Folate isn’t plentiful in any plant but spinach, parsley, okra, cabbage, asparagus, endive and pigweed all contain moderate amounts and aren’t likely to cause gout (uric acid buildup) like meat and yeast. Folic acid is biologically important due to tetrahydrofolate and other derivatives after its conversion to dihydrofolic acid in the liver.
Prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, herbs, dietary supplements and illegal drugs may interact with folic acid and possibly other B vitamins. Some things you should discuss with your health care provider are: if you have alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver, pernicious anemia, B-12 deficient anemia, allergic reactions to B vitamins, are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, breast feeding or experience any allergic reactions
There are no supplements that can replace a healthful diet. Seldom will there be an contraindication or reaction to a medication where a healthful diet is concerned.
Read and follow directions on the labels.