Folate is probably one of the most important nutrients for women and not just pregnant women either. It’s common knowledge that women who are taking oral contraceptives and other forms of birth control or are pregnant are prescribed folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in their babies. Women also need adequate supplies after the birth of their baby to ward off post-partum depression.
Studies have also shown that a folic acid deficiency can lead to general depression. Men, as well as women, go to the doctor for depression and rarely does a physician do a blood test to determine if the patient has a nutritional deficiency. Instead the physician prescribes an anti-depressant with known side effects that aren’t too pretty. If the patient doesn’t feel any positive results they often return to the doctor who either increases the current dosage or switches to a new anti-depressant and never solves the underlying cause of the problem which could very well be a nutritional deficiency.
Of course, doctors don’t receive a kick-back (bonus) from big drug companies for putting patients on nutritional therapy.
The University of Alabama has noted that many women may suffer a localized folic acid deficiency as well. Cervical dysplasia, which is thought to be a precancerous condition, has been identified in women with low folate counts. Women who were put on nutritional therapy with folic acid showed significant improvements as opposed to those women who were given a placebo. Some women even showed complete regression indicating that folic acid may reverse the early stages of this precancerous condition.
It could be of utmost importance for women to take folic acid throughout their lifetime. Elderly people seem to be one of the most affected age groups of people who are nutrient deficient, so it makes good sense that women should continue to supplement folic acid even after their child bearing years.
Oral contraceptives, high alcohol consumption and antibiotics can interfere with folate metabolism causing a deficiency.
Lack of vitamin C and zinc also hinders the absorption of folic acid. Vitamin C helps turn folate into a form that can be readily used by the body. A deficiency in vitamin C would hinder this process causing mal-absorption of folic acid.
The importance of nutritional therapy has been steadily gaining ground over the years. It is impossible to get the nutrition we require in our daily diet. Fast food consumption and over processed foods make it vitally important to put nutritional therapy at the top of the list, not only for your health, but for the health of your children and grandchildren.