The possible influence between sun exposure and levels of folic acid in blood presented by people has been a hotly debated topic among specialists from around the world, however, it had never been demonstrated.
Now, researchers from the University of Malaga (UMA) have shown, for the first time, that folic acid levels decrease significantly in the months with the highest incidence of solar radiation.
This team of scientists has determined a threshold of seasonal risk among patients with deficit of this vitamin, confirming that ultraviolet radiation directly affects the proportion of folate in the body.
A work developed from the Laboratory of Dermatological Photobiology of the UMA, which is located in the Medical Health Research Center (CIMES), in which they have analyzed more than 100,000 patients from the hospital units of Malaga for five years, have specified the university in a statement.
"We have detected that the cycles are repeated annually. The percentage of low values increases in summer almost 3.5 percent with respect to winter, "as indicated by the researcher José Aguilera, who, in addition, has added that, regardless of seasonality, folic acid levels are lower in men than women. With these results, experts recommend that patients with folic acid values less than 4 ng / mL add to their diet in the summer months foods rich in this vitamin such as legumes or leafy green vegetables, and that even in cases of low deficit, take supplements.
Essential for cell growth
Folic acid is essential for cell division and growth. Its insufficiency is related to various pathologies such as megaloblastic anemia, neural tube defects or cardiovascular diseases. It is, therefore, a vitamin, B9, of vital importance for people, since it influences, for example, the incorporation of iron anemia, or, in the case of babies, helps prevent it from being born with congenital disabilities, hence its importance during pregnancy.
In terms of its specific functions we can mention that its presence is necessary in the formation of nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), transporters of genetic information to cells. In the event that the woman is pregnant, a consumption of the necessary amounts of this vitamin is essential, since, as mentioned, her deficit can cause congenital anomalies. It has a joint role with vitamin B12 for the formation of red blood cells. It participates in the transfer of carbon molecules, essential to synthesize all types of compounds. And it intervenes in the development of the nervous system.
Since 2006, researchers from the University of Málaga have been working on the search for new trends in photoprotection, towards unprecedented lines that advance in the relation light and skin, through the Dermatological Photobiology laboratory, unique in Spain.
The study of the positive effects of vitamin D to prevent certain diseases such as digestive and cardiovascular or the development of more efficient and durable sunscreens, from synthetic compounds, but inspired by marine algae, are other lines of research.
Food sources of folic acid or vitamin B9
• Green leafy vegetables: such as spinach, turnip greens, cabbage, lettuce.
• In some fruits, such as citrus, melon or banana.
• Legumes (beans, beans, beans).
• Meat (especially liver and kidneys).
• Whole grains.
• Milk and eggs.
• Some nuts
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