Looking for a unique and impactful gift this Holiday season? Stuff your friend or loved one’s stocking with folic acid.
While the over-the-counter vitamin is primarily taken to reduce the risk of neutral tube defects in children in the womb, it has also been linked to a wide range of other health benefits.
Folic acid has been found to help treat gum disease. Multiple studies, some dated as far back as 1984, found evidence that folic acid used orally can help to reduce gingivitis.
According to a 2014 study, the B-9 vitamin may help counteract hearing loss associated with aging. Studies have found a potential connection between folate deficiency and hearing loss, though further studies are needed to better understand how and why the two are linked.
Folic acid is also incredibly beneficial to those that take Methotrexate; a medication prescribed to treat conditions like adult rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, and severe psoriasis.
Methotrexate drains the body of folic acid, leading to folic acid deficiencies. The body needs folic acid to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract and liver, as well as healthy bones and hair. Folic acid can also reduce methotrexate’s side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
Folic acid also assists with stronger, healthier nails and hair, assists in acne prevention, promotes glowing skin, and reduces the risk of colon cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Of course, the most important reason to take folic acid is the prevention of birth defects. Taking vitamin B-9 at least 3-12 months before getting pregnant can reduce the likelihood of the child developing a neural tube defect by as much as 70%.
Folic acid is available over the counter, and in some cases, costs less than a one penny a day. Now go out and get your loved one some folic acid for Christmas!