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One of the most important nutrients that you will find in food is folate. Folate is a B vitamin (B9) that we cannot manufacture—we must source our folate through the food that we eat or through supplements.
While we cannot make folate, some of the microbes living in the intestinal tract can.
This is good news because folate allows us to synthesize and repair DNA, making it an essential nutrient for expecting mothers and growing children. Folate also helps manage the expression of DNA, which means that it can help keep us healthy even if we are genetically wired to get sick.
Because folate supports cell division, it also helps the body make healthy red blood cells. Without enough folate, the body pumps out large, immature blood cells, and we are more likely to develop anemia. (1)
Your body needs folate to synthesize and repair DNA. Only one Lactobacillus probiotic, the same bacterium found in the Veggie Culture Starter, can make natural folate in the gut.
Most vitamins and fortified foods contain folic acid, the synthetic version of folate. Even though folic acid functions similar to folate in the body, supplementing with synthetic folate is not entirely risk free.
For example, some research shows that synthetic folic acid may encourage the growth of cancer cells once they have already developed into a tumor. (2) Other researchers are concerned that synthetic folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, leaving it undiagnosed and untreated. (3)
Finally, synthetic folic acid does not easily break down in the body. This means that most of us—if we have eaten fortified foods or have supplemented with folic acid—are carrying around high levels of unused folic acid in our blood. Even newly delivered babies have unused folic acid in their umbilical cord blood. (4)
This is a concern because unused folic acid may be related to brain deterioration in the elderly. (5)
The good news is that many foods are rich in natural folate. This includes:
Lactobacillus plantarum is the only probiotic from the Lactobacillus family that can make natural folate. All other popular Lactobacillus probiotics—like L. acidophilus—cannot make folate. (6)
Fortunately, L. plantarum is a team player. One study published in 2013 found that a probiotic supplement containing L. plantarum can boost the numbers of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the gut while decreasing the numbers of harmful microorganisms. (7)
While L. plantarum does a lot of good for the body, researchers in Brazil recently found that it does not like to hang around in the digestive tract. This is true even when L. plantarum is consumed for long periods of time. (8)
In other words, L. plantarum is more like a visitor to your inner ecosystem than a resident.
Body Ecology’s Culture Starter targets our special need for folate. Along with a few other friendly microbes, it contains L. plantarum. Every time we eat a few ounces of cultured vegetables, we inoculate our inner ecosystems with L. plantarum—which will go on to produce folate in the gut while also supporting a healthy inner ecosystem. We also consume more folate than we would have by eating leafy greens raw and unfermented.
If you are looking for an extra boost of natural folate, culture your leafy greens with Body Ecology’s Culture Starter. Body Ecology's Culture Starter is more powerful than ever—the new starter has been reformulated to provide 570 billion CFUs of bacteria per gram compared to 160 billion in the old recipe!
Folate is an important B vitamin that the body can't manufacture on its own. Most of the time, your body absorbs folate from food sources or supplements. Folate is critical because it allows the body to synthesize and repair DNA. This nutrient is especially significant for pregnant women and growing children.
There are quite a few delicious foods that are naturally rich in folate, including liver, spinach, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. But there is only one probiotic in the Lactobacillus family that can make natural folate, L. plantarum.
Body Ecology’s Culture Starter is rich in L. plantarum to meet your folate needs. Eating a few ounces of cultured vegetables a day can inoculate your inner ecosystem with L. plantarum to help produce folate in the gut.
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