Folate, also referred to as folic acid, is a type of B vitamin. Even though folate isn’t one of the most commonly talked about vitamins, it’s super important to our overall health. According to Healthline, folate is responsible for making and repairing DNA, as well as producing red blood cells (RBCs). Folate deficiencies often stem from diet, but there are numerous other factors that can cause folate deficiency.
Thankfully, in most cases, folate deficiency is easily treatable. However, if it goes untreated it can cause some serious complications. It’s also difficult to catch because the symptoms can be subtle and sometimes confused with other illnesses. To get better informed on everything to do with folate deficiency, here’s a look at the common causes, symptoms, complications, and some prevention tips…
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What Causes a Folate Deficiency?
Now that we know what folate is, how does a folate deficiency happen? Healthline explains that folate is a water-soluble vitamin that dissolves in water, but isn’t stored in the fat cells. Since this vitamin isn’t stored in the body, we need to keep taking it in order to keep our folate levels up. The body isn’t capable of holding onto a reserve of folate which is why it doesn’t take long for a person to become deficient in folate.
To make matters worse, “people release excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins in their urine,” writes Healthline. So, as tempting as it is to take extra water-soluble vitamins, you’re body won’t hold onto the excess and instead, will just excrete it.