Folate for Everybody?

Folic acid is one of the more essential B vitamins, especially for women of childbearing age, and a little bit—100 micrograms a day—goes a long way toward preventing spina bifida and other birth defects. Now a major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has confirmed what smaller studies had only hinted at: that women who consume large amounts of folate (in the region of 1,000 micrograms a day) have a lower risk of developing hypertension—for younger women, it's significantly lower.

The report, part of the ongoing Nurses' Health Study, tracked the folate intake of...

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