Folate, helps make DNA, supports red blood cell production and the nervous system.
Not having enough folate can create health problems like anemia, birth defects, and cognitive impairment.
In this post, we will talk about things that lowers folate levels in the blood and what you can do to prevent this.
8 Things That Lowers Folate Levels in Your Blood
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There are several things that can reduce folate levels in the blood, including:
Methotrexate is an antimetabolite used to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.
It works by interfering with the synthesis of nucleic acids.
Folate helps in the synthesis of nucleic acids and making red blood cells.
Methotrexate reduces folate levels in the blood by inhibiting an enzyme called dihydrofolate reductase.
When dihydrofolate reductase is inhibited, the conversion of folic acid into its active form is impaired, leading to a decrease in the levels of active folate in the body.
This can cause a range of side effects, including anemia, fatigue, and increased susceptibility to infections.
To minimize these side effects, take folic acid supplements to replace folate levels in the body.
2. Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much alcohol irritates and damages the intestinal lining, making it harder for your body to absorb, store, and use folate.
This will eventually reduce folate levels in your blood.
In addition, alcohol impairs the liver’s ability to store and release folate, which can further worsen folate deficiency.
Alcohol increases the excretion of folate in urine, leading to lower levels of the vitamin in the body.
The liver’s metabolism of alcohol generates toxic byproducts that interfere with the body’s ability to activate folate and use it effectively.
Therefore, it is essential to limit alcohol intake and ensure adequate folate intake through diet.
3. Smoking Tobacco
Smoking has been shown to reduce folate levels in the blood due to oxidative stress in the body.
This damage decreases the ability of cells to absorb and use folate.
In addition, smoking has been shown to increase the metabolism of folate in the liver, leading to lower circulating levels of folate in the blood.
Smoking also decreases the number of receptors for folate in the small intestine, this reduces the amount of folate that the body can absorb from food.
4. Inadequate Dietary Intake
A diet that is low in folate-containing foods decreases folate levels.
Our body can’t make folate so we have to get it from food.
When people don’t eat enough food that contains folate, their bodies runs out of it. This lowers folate levels in the blood.
5. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
This immune reaction damages the lining of the small intestine, making it harder for the body to absorb nutrients from food.
Since folate is absorbed in the small intestine, people with celiac disease might have trouble getting enough folate from their food.
People with celiac disease need to take supplements to make sure they are getting enough folate.
6. MTHFR Gene Mutation
The MTHFR gene gives instructions for making an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), which helps to metabolize folate.
A mutation in this gene decreases the activity of the MTHFR enzyme, making it difficult for the body to convert folate.
People with MTHFR gene mutation may eat a diet that is rich in folate.
As we age, our bodies change in many ways, such as how we absorb and metabolize nutrients like folate.
As we get older, our stomachs produce less acid, which makes it harder for the body to absorb folate.
In addition, antacids and proton pump inhibitors that are used by older adults interferes with folate absorption.
Finally, some older adults don’t eat a balanced diet or may have difficulty chewing or swallowing, so they don’t get enough folate from their food.
When the body is under stress, it uses up more folate.
Stress increases inflammation in the body, which interferes with folate absorption.
When people are under stress, they may not eat well. If this happens, the body fails to absorb nutrients from food.
Conclusion: 8 Things That Lowers Folate Levels in Your Blood
It is important to keep the right amount of folate in your body to maintain good health.
However, some things like drinking alcohol, taking medications, and smoking can lower folate levels in your blood.
By being aware of these things, you can take steps to help make sure you have enough folate to stay healthy.
If you’re at risk of folate deficiency, monitor your folate levels and take supplements.