How much folate do I need to stay young?

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
By consistently taking 800 micrograms (mcg) of folate a day, you can make your RealAge (physiologic age) 1.2 years younger in just three months, and probably 3.7 years younger in three years. (Although most individuals really need 400 to 800 mcg for the antiaging effect in the arteries, you need 800 mcg for the anticancer effect, so I have simplified the information by just using 800 mcg throughout. We know of no toxicity at any dose of folate, so taking 800 mcg appears to be very safe.) If you already have elevated levels of homocysteine (an amino acid by-product of the metabolism of protein), you can make your RealAge three or more years younger in just three months. (Other names for folate are folicin, folic acid, and vitamin B9.)

Elevated homocysteine levels (18 micromoles per liter of blood-?mol/l-and higher) double the risk of heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and impotence. More than 42% of people with cerebral vascular disease, 30% of those with cardiovascular disease, and 28% of those with peripheral vascular disease have homocysteine levels that are too high. And even levels above 12 seem to increase inflammation in your blood vessels. Taking 800 micrograms (mcg) of folate a day in supplements, or 1,400 mcg through your diet, can reduce homocysteine levels dramatically, essentially removing any excess homocysteine from your bloodstream and stopping the aging effects. It's a quick, easy, and painless way to make your arteries younger.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.