National Women’s Health Week starts each year on Mother’s Day to encourage women to make health their priority—this year it is the week of May 10 through May 17. The key to maintaining health is getting the necessary care to help prevent disease, disability, and injuries. Preventive care can help detect problems early, when treatment is more effective.
Physical activity is one of the most important things women can do for optimal health. Its many benefits include lowering the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death for women. In addition to doing at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity, women should also aim to do strengthening exercises that include all major muscle groups at least twice a week.1 Strength and balance training are also important, since one out of four older people fall each year and women fall more often than men.2
Healthy eating is important for everyone, and for women, there are specific needs. In a previous blog we covered several concerns relevant to women’s health, such as breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. Here we are going to discuss one specific need crucial to women’s health: folic acid. Required for optimal health, folic acid also helps prevent major birth defects during pregnancy.3
Folic acid is a tricky supplement. It’s a synthetic form of vitamin B9. The body does not convert it into active vitamin B9 very well, so unmetabolized folic acid may build up in the bloodstream.4 Since folic acid is different from natural folate, it must be converted into an active form before your body can use it. Your genetics affect how quickly this conversion takes place, so folic acid is a hot topic in current nutrition research.5
Synthetic folic acid can disrupt the actions of natural folate as it has a greater capability to bind to folate receptors on the cells. This, in turn, could result in folic acid being preferentially transported into normal healthy cells instead of natural folate. Once inside the cell, folic acid could then compete with natural folates for other binding sites, preventing them from functioning properly and potentially causing changes in normal gene expression or cell growth rates.6
To circumvent the double-edged sword of folic acid (the body needs it but has problems processing it properly and can cause seriously negative effects) researchers have come up with a supplement known as BioFolate™. This supplement formula contains L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF), the active form of folate that is used in the body and considered a healthier alternative to folic acid, which is essential in the production of neurotransmitters. Folate plays a key role in DNA and RNA synthesis, healthy genetic expression, red blood cell production, the metabolism of proteins, cognitive health, cardiovascular health, and more.7
BioFolate™ is an important ingredient added to the new vanilla Kenzen Vital Balance® to help make it an exceptional nutritional supplement for Active Wellness.