High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) can be caused by many things such as genetics, diet and lifestyle. Having hypertension may increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. Some studies have now tried to determine that taking folic acid may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
With every heartbeat, the heart pumps blood around the body carrying oxygen, energy and nutrients to every cell of the body. Blood pressure is measured as the pressure exerted against the walls of the blood vessels during every heartbeat. There are two readings taken when checking BP. The top number (or the Systolic reading) refers to the highest pressure when your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body. The bottom number (or The Diastolic reading) refers to the lowest pressure when your heart relaxes between beats. Optimum readings for a healthy adult are 120/80, but consistently high measurements above this can be considered a red flag for hypertension.
What is Folic Acid?
Folic Acid (folate) or Vitamin B9 is essential to help manufacture red blood cells as well as help the spine form in unborn foetuses. Homocysteine is a compound within blood that damages the cells lining arteries. Once they are damaged, the blood vessel may actually become less elastic making hypertension much more likely, but Folate has been shown to help break homocysteine down. This is why it is believed that increasing your folic acid intake, whether via food or supplementation, it may lessen the risk of damage to these important cells.