Factors That Affect How Folic Acid Is Absorbed

how-to-absorb-folic-acidSo, what blocks folic acid absorption? As a part of the B complex of vitamins, conjugate base folate plays an important role in helping the body make healthy new red blood cells. As a result, it is often prescribed by doctors when people are suffering from megaloblastic anemia and folate deficiency. However, sometimes it may not work due to the poor absorption, which can be the result of the interference of a few factors. In this case, these factors should attract attention if the users want to increase the absorption.

First of all, folate and folic acid are not the same thing although both of them are a water-soluble B vitamin. In fact, they are different forms of this B vitamin. While the former is naturally found in fresh natural foods, the latter is an oxidized or synthetic form, which is taken to convert into the former. And usually the latter is consumed in the forms of fortified foods and supplements. And what inhibits folic acid absorption are mainly the following 5 factors.

1. Usage. Although it really makes no difference at all in absorption when it is taken in capsules, powders, pills, or any other forms, the cooking methods do if it is natural food sources of folate. This is because this nutrient will be destroyed by heating. In addition, exposure to air can affect folate absorption and utilization too.

2. Alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption interferes with and decreases folate absorption. What’s worse, it also affects the body’s excretion of this vitamin. Good news is that it is the bouts of heavy drinking but occasional or moderate drinking that lead to such negative impact.

3. Other vitamins. Other vitamins, such as vitamin C and B12, can help increase the absorption rate of folic acid when they are taken together. It can be done in two ways: to take supplements of vitamin C and B12, and/or to obtain them from food sources like orange juice.

4. Birth control pills. Oral contraceptives can block the absorption of folate too. If a woman concerns herself with this interaction, it is a good idea to consult her doctor. In addition, although everyone needs this nutrient, it means more for pregnant women since it helps prevent neural tube defects in babies if it is taken before and during early pregnancy.

5. Poor diet. Poor diet can lead to poor absorption of vitamins too. For instance, inadequate intake of B vitamins and protein will affect the absorption of folate from foods. This is why it is often recommended to take them together to improve digestion and absorption.

On the one hand, the negative factors affecting folic acid absorption include improper usage like cooking, alcohol, birth control pills, poor diet, and so on. On the other hand, taking vitamin C and B12 along with this nutrient can increase the absorption rate instead.

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