Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate, vitamin B9. Folate is necessary for the creation of DNA and RNA.
It is one of the vitamins that is stressed for pregnant women: perhaps the most well-known benefit of the use of folic acid is its role in the prevention of certain birth defects and developmental disorders.
This is why folic acid is added to so many packaged foods.
What has previously been ignored is that folic acid–because it is synthetic–poses other, unwanted and potentially toxic, side effects.
The Body Can’t Use What it Doesn’t Understand.
As with any synthetic vitamin, the body doesn’t metabolize folic acid in the same way as with naturally-occurring folate. What the body often does with a substance when it can’t figure out what it is or what to do with it is either store it in fat or let it roam around.
Sometimes there are no serious consequences but more likely than not, toxicity will accrue and cause ill effects when levels get too high or the immune system becomes weakened.
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In the case of folic acid, while it may help promote healthy fetal development, the remnants that hang around–considering the constant supplementation through food additives–can cause or exacerbate disease later in life.