Can Low Folate Levels Cause Weight Gain?

Weight gain can lead to serious of a medical condition which has rapidly become a major threat to global health overweight or obese, generally defined as having more body fat i.e. adipose tissue. It is associated with associated several metabolic, cardiovascular, and renal disorders. In the United States, more than half of the individuals i.e. 65% of grownup children are overweight and 36% of individuals are obese with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 kg/m2. Globally, the obesity rate has increased twice ever since from the 1980s and at present approximately more than 1.4 billion of adults are obese.

What is Folate?

Folate is a different form of folic acid, folacin, and vitamin B9. Folate in the form of folic acid is used as a supplement in the western countries. Folate plays a crucial role in the one-carbon metabolism for physiological nucleic acid synthesis and cell division, regulation of gene expression, amino acid metabolism and neurotransmitter synthesis.

Can Low Folate Levels Cause Weight Gain?

There is no scientific evidence available till now that low folate is associated with weight gain. To be precise, dietary folate plus folic acid or folate supplement may increase the weight of the individuals. Research analysis has confirmed that folate supplementation consequence in a significant increase in weight. It is noted that two-fold increase in folate intake corresponds to a 1.02-fold higher weight, which is 2% increase.

Beneficial Effect of Folate Supplementation

The advantageous effect of folate supplementation before and after conception is well documented. The effect of folate supplementation on health outcomes in pregnancy is encouraging. Researcher found a significant dose-response relationship between folate intake and birth weight. The relationship indicated that every two-fold increase in folate intake caused 2% increase in birth weight.

Low Folate is Risk in Pregnancy

Inadequate folate status during pregnancy may be a risk factor for several adverse health outcomes, such as fetal malformations and various placenta-related diseases. Moreover, low folate status results in elevated plasma homocysteine level, which may increase the risk of placental damage and dysfunction, disturbing thereby oxygen and nutrient transport to the fetus.

Folate Deficiency

Folate deficiency is described as a low level of folic acid and derivatives in the body. It can be caused by unhealthy diets and certain diseases make the folates not to absorb well in the digestive system Crohn’s disease or celiac disease and some genetic disorders affect levels of folate absorption. Medicines such as anticonvulsant medications (phenytoin), sulfasalazine, or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, birth control pills, metformin, anti-cancer drugs (5-fluorouracil) and alcohol consumption may accelerate folate deficiency. Folate is usually absorbed in the small intestine, particularly at the Jejunum, binding to specific receptor proteins. Any inflammation or degenerative diseases of the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, chronic enteritis or entero-enteric fistulae, may reduce the activity of pteroyl polyglutamase (PPGH), a specific hydrolase required for folate absorption, and thereby lead to folate deficiency.

Signs and Symptoms of Folate Deficiency

Folate deficiency can cause glossitis, diarrhea, depression, confusion, anemia, and fetal neural tube defects and brain defects (during pregnancy). Other symptoms include fatigue, gray hair, mouth sores, poor growth, and swollen tongue.

Conclusion

Research investigation has long-established that folate supplementation consequence in a significant increase in weight. There is no scientific evidence available till now that low folate is associated with weight gain. Low folate status has been linked to depression and poor response. It is noted that two-fold increase in folate intake corresponds to a 1.02-fold higher weight, which is 2% increase. The risk of toxicity from intake of a high dose of folate supplementation is low since folate is a water-soluble vitamin and is regularly removed from the body through urine. In fact, the folate supplementation is safe in pregnancy and increased birth weight was the most frequently reported health outcome because of folate supplementation.

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