Sun Sizzles Folic Acid
Women who spend a lot of time in the sun are at risk of losing folate, according to a study at the Queensland University of Technology.
The researchers found a 20% reduction in folate levels in their study of Australian women aged 18-47 who reported high rates of sun exposure.
These represent levels below those recommended for women considering pregnancy.
Women who spend time outside from 10am to 3pm with inadequate sun protection, were found to be the most at risk, according to the study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology.
The benefits of folic acid are well known to women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Vital for fetal development, folate significantly reduces the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects like spina bifida. Amongst other benefits, folate is also linked to cell growth and healthy brain function.
This latest research suggests another reason to be wary of staying out for too long in the blistering summer sun.
For more information and ideas on folate food sources, click here.