Folate Deficiency Steals Your Energy

A folate deficiency is likely one of the biggest thieves when it comes to your health.  Folate, also known as B9, is a significant player in how your body produces energy.  Folate is sometimes called folic acid, but this is not technically accurate (more on this to come).  For the purpose of our conversation, a folate deficiency robs your body of energy.  We often think about energy as just how we feel on a day to day basis.  If we feel good, then we say we are energetic.  If we wake up tired, we say that we are fatigued.  Most the patients that I see come in complaining about some levels of fatigue.  It is common.  Since a folate deficiency is often a cause of fatigue, this is one of the first things that are we look for.  The good news is that a folate deficiency is generally pretty easy to fix.

What is a Folate Deficiency?

A folate deficiency is simply nothing more than a lack of sufficient levels of B9.  That is the simplified answer.  If all you are interested in is optimizing your health, then correcting a folate deficiency is nothing more than taking some folate, or B9.  Folate is a vitamin that is safe to take, especially if taken with B12.  However, if you want to understand a folate deficiency at a deeper level, it can have many significant effects that have the potential to cause lasting damage to the body.  The most common example of this is altering your DNA.  Having a folate deficiency can change your genetic makeup and cause mutations in your genes.  Such mutations produced damaged tissue and you don’t heal well.  This is one of the reasons that a folate deficiency can be associated with cancer.  A folate deficiency is also associated with depression, anemia, heart disease, high blood pressure, poor detoxification and anxiety.

How a Folate Deficiency Robs Your Energy

Folate Deficiency

Folate Deficiency

As I mentioned, folate is needed for energy production.  Without it, you don’t efficiently deliver oxygen to where it needs to go to be burned for energy.  Think of this like the air filter on your car.  If you cannot get air through the air filter because it is dirty, then you don’t have enough oxygen to burn with your gas to make the motor work efficiently.  As a result your gas mileage suffers and your engine has less performance.  Having a folate deficiency is like having a dirty air filter.  Lack of oxygen equals an inefficient burn for your “metabolic engine”.  When your metabolism is not producing enough energy, not only do you feel tired, but you also don’t think clearly, you don’t lose weight as easily and you are more prone to holding on to toxins that are going to make you fat.  Clearly you do not want a folate deficiency robbing your energy.

Is a Folate Deficiency the Same as a Folic Acid Deficiency?

In short, a folate deficiency is not the same as a folic acid deficiency.  In fact, there is actually no such thing as a folic acid deficiency.  The reason is that the body does not have a need for folic acid.  The body has a need for folate.  This may seem like a small difference, but it is actually quite large.  How large you might ask?  Well, too much folic acid, as opposed to folate, could be the difference between developing colon cancer.  That is significant.  Folic acid is synthetic.  Folate is natural.  The bottom line is that if you are trying to correct a folate deficiency, do not use folic acid.  It is best to use only folate to correct a folate deficiency.

Folate Deficiency Linked to Poor Diet

The standard American diet is a significant contributor to a folate deficiency.  Folate should easily be found in the diet.  In fact, folate gets its name from foliage, or plants.  Plants are where we find folate.  Unfortunately, plants with color have become deficient in the standard American Diet.  As a result, this dietary pattern sets one up for a folate deficiency.  A folate deficiency can be easily avoided by eating a Paleo Diet.  The Paleo Diet is high in foliage and supplies an ample amount of folate among its many other benefits.  And for those that want to correct their folate deficiency faster and start feeling more energy right away, a high quality folate supplement is the best solution.

 

References:

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