What is Folic Acid?
Folic Acid, also known as folate or vitamin B9, is a member of the B vitamin family.
This water-soluble B vitamin is essential in producing red and white blood cells in your body! These important cells help to convert food into energy and make DNA!
Folate plays a very important role in your body.
Deficiencies in folic acid can cause megaloblastic anemia, which is when your blood cells form in an improper shape. This hinders their ability to function correctly in your body.
Folate is especially important for pregnant women, as deficiencies can cause neural tube defects in a growing fetus. Other signs of deficiency include fatigue, shortness of breath, difficulty focusing, brain fog, headaches, and heart palpitations.
Benefits of Folic Acid
The average adult is recommended to take 400mcg of folate daily. Although folate is best known for preventing neural tube defects in fetuses, new research is showing its benefits in cancer prevention, including breast, bladder, and pancreatic cancers.
Folate is also involved in reducing homocysteine, high levels of which is strongly linked to heart disease. Folate works in this cycle by converting homocysteine into methionine which is used by your body.
Food Sources of Folate
Food sources of folate include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables (i.e. kale, spinach),
- Black-eyed peas,
- Brussels sprouts,
- Green peas,
- Fortified Grains*.
*Because of the utmost importance of folate adequacy, the Canadian government, along with other governments have mandated folate fortification to many grains, like breakfast cereals, white flour, and pastas.
Folic Acid’s Role in HPV Management
There are several key nutrients that have been studied in relation to HPV, and folate is one of them.
Folate is an essential B vitamin, Vitamin B9, that has a key role in growth and development, especially pre-natally. Deficiencies in this prenatally can cause neural tube defects in growing fetuses.
Folate’s role in HPV is likely in DNA methylation, which is just a way to make sure your genes function normally.
Studies have found that individuals with a folate deficiency have an increased risk of positive HPV status, as well as an increased risk of progression to cervical and oral cancer.
There may be a relationship between low levels of folate in the blood and high-risk HPV infection through the promotion of CIN development.
A daily serving of Papillex contains the equivalent of 5 ounces of poultry liver, 4 cups of chickpeas, or 40 spears of asparagus.
There has been extensive research in role of folate in HPV. We highlighted some key research below:
- A 2003 study by Hernandez et al. showed that women with the highest levels of blood folate levels from either food or supplements have lower rates of cervical dysplasia from HPV.
- A 2016 case control study by Zhao et al. that included 271 controls and 214 women with both high and low grade HPV lesions, found that low blood folate levels in women was coupled with a higher risk of cervical cancer from HPV.
- A large analysis of studies, or a meta-analysis, showed an increased risk of cervical cancer among Asian populations with low blood folate levels.
- A study by Bai et al. showed that a folate deficiency was associated with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in subjects who were HPV 16 positive.
- In an Indian population, improving folate and vitamin B12 status may have a beneficial impact on the prevention of cervical cancer.
Scientific evidence shows that folic acid likely plays a protective role in HPV progression to cervical cancer. Good sources of folic acid in the diet include green leafy vegetables, nuts and beans.
Folic acid is one of the many key protective nutrients in Papillex. A daily serving of Papillex contains the equivalent of 5 ounces of poultry liver, 4 cups of chickpeas, or 40 spears of asparagus.
Should I Supplement Folic Acid?
Ideally, we would obtain our folate from food sources like dark leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seafood. However, it is very difficult to get the recommended amount of folate from food alone.
Estimates of folate deficiency range from over 5 to 40% in female populations globally.
Folic acid supplementation of 400 micrograms per day has been found to be safe. The highest level of daily intake of folate that poses no risk of adverse health effects was set at 1,000 micrograms per day.
Folic acid is also a water-soluble vitamin and does not accumulate in fat tissue. Therefore, excess intake will be excreted into the urine and out of the body.
Supplementation with folic acid is often recommended for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects and prevent megaloblastic anemia.
Supporting HPV Naturally
Many doctors choose to implore a “watch and wait” tactic, as it is difficult to begin a treatment without further progression of abnormal cells. Some people wait years before seeing this progression, and most surgical interventions do not have an immense effect on early stages of cell changes.
Even if you eat the healthiest diet, you may still have several nutritional deficiencies, which could have a negative impact on the health of your immune system.
This is why in addition to a diet high in richly pigmented fruits and vegetables, it’s important to supplement your diet with clinically-supported nutritional supplements.
Papillex, is a compound that contains high quality, natural sources of nutrients that have been shown to support beneficial results with respect to HPV. It contains ingredients that nutritionally support the immune system which will help the body to better respond to genital warts, cervical dysplasia, and other HPV-related disorders naturally.