Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Supplement Smarts

Magazine article Vegetarian Times

Supplement Smarts

Article excerpt

FOLIC ACID

This B vitamin, essential for a healthy nervous system and the body's production of energy and genetic material, dramatically reduces the risk of birth defects. "I strongly recommend folic acid for any woman who may become pregnant," says Tieraona Low Dog, MD, author of Healthy at Home: Get Well and Stay Well Without Prescriptions. ''In addition, some studies show that it can enhance the therapeutic effect of antidepressants." She also recommends folic acid when absorption is impaired, as in cases of celiac or Crohn's disease.

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Folic acid, which fortifies U.S. grain and cereal products, is the synthetic version of vitamin B«; its natural counterpart, folate, is plentiful in dark leafy greens and in beans. Because many people are unable to convert folic acid into its active form in the body, Low Dog suggests taking methylfolate, which is already biologically active (brand variants include Metafolin and Quatrefolic). …

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