• Works with B6 and B12 in Methylation reactions
  • Brain and nerve function: works as partner with B12 in activities such as making neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine
  • Works with B12 in many processes, including synthesis of DNA and affects most the division of red blood cells, GI cells and genital cells as well as nervous development of fetus
  • Works with B12 and Betaine to reduce body concentrations of homocysteine (that lead to atherosclerosis, osteoporosis)
Sources notes
  • Best sources from yeast, wheat germ, whole beans, green leafy vegetables – name is derived from foliage
  • Folate is a naturally occurring nutrient
  • Folic acid is an oxidized synthetic form that is used in fortifying foods
Vegetable Sources Asparagus; Spinach; Kale; Beet and mustard greens; Broccoli; Brussel sprouts; cabbage
Fruit Sources dried figs; avocado
Nut and seed sources walnuts; peanuts; almonds
Absorption and function notes
  • Absorption inhibited by alcohol, prescription drugs impair metabolism
  • Extremely hear sensitive – destroyed by cooking
Deficiency factors
  • Brain and nerve function: impaired mental acuity / dementia, depression
  • Impaired nerve function leading to numbness, burning
  • Poor growth; diarrhea; anemia; gingivitis; birth defects
  • Destroyed by light and heat
  • High dose may be toxic, leading to insomnia, irritability and GI problems
  • High doses may also mask B12 deficiency
  • Folic acid (present in fortified foods) is associated with increased incidence of cancer

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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