There may be a connection to folate and weight loss. There are some large online sources promoting increase of folate intake when trying to lose weight. Is there a link between folate and weight loss?
In a slideshow by Mens Health at MSN Health, folate-rich foods are claimed to be one of 12 superfoods for weight loss. They used a study in the British Journal of Nutrition to say that those with higher folate levels lost more weight when dieting.
Study Regarding Folate and Weight Loss. One study in the British Journal of Nutrition did show that those who lost more weight had increased levels of folate in their bodies. However, this small study only used 67 women and both groups were given folate either in natural form through vegetables or cereals fortified with the synthetic form, folic acid.
Another issue with this study, is all participants were put on a very low-calorie diet. The only difference was whether they ate vegetables with folate or cereals with folic acid. There was no control group to see if perhaps it may just have been the very low calorie diet that caused weight loss, or if indeed folate plays a role in weight loss at all.
Can Folate Help with Weight Loss? Folate is a B vitamin that works with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C to help metabolize protein and regulate insulin levels. Proper metabolism of protein and stable insulin levels are helpful when trying to lose weight, so it is important to get enough folate in your diet. However, additional folate in the natural form may not have an effect on weight loss, as any more than your body needs is flushed out of your system.
The addition of synthetic folic acid supplements to the diet won’t help either. Folic acid has been added to breads and cereals since 1996. So although people are getting more folic acid in the foods they eat, the obesity rate has been climbing. I truly don’t see how the addition of folic acid is helping with weight loss efforts.
It Is Still Important to Eat Foods Rich in Folate when Losing Weight. Fruits and vegetables that contain folate can still help you lose weight as they can also be high in fiber, low in calories and high in other nutrients. Folate rich foods include broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupe and cabbage among others.
Also, according to Dr. Alan Greene, MD FAAP, there was a study that shows folate-rich foods can combat the health risks associated with BPA found in some plastics and food can linings. BPA has been associated with many health risks including obesity.
Folate and Weight Loss. When you read something on the internet, be sure to do your own research on the matter before loading your body with something that may not help and might actually even be dangerous. It is also important to read studies carefully to see if there could be other factors that influence the results.
Though folate-rich foods may play a part in weight loss, the addition of folate or folic acid has not been proven to increase weight loss. A connection may later be found, but it is best to eat a balanced, healthy diet combined with exercise to lose weight and not expect a miracle cure in regards to folate and weight loss.
Mens Health; 12 Superfoods for Faster Weight Loss; MSN Health
R.M. Ortega, et al.; Changes in folate status in overweight/obese women following two different weight control programmes based on an increased consumption of vegetables or fortified breakfast cereals; British Journal of Nutrition
Dr. Greene.com; What If You Already Used BPA? BPA Protection: Spinach and Soy