Improves Athletic Performance
About three million girls participate in high school sports each year and approximately 23 million women run at least six times a week. Young female athletes who do not eat enough to offset the energy they burn during exercise can stop menstruating, a condition called amenorrhea. A study of 20 female runners from the Medical College of Wisconsin has found that 10 milligrams of oral folic acid may provide a safe and inexpensive treatment to improve vascular function in these women. Reduced vascular flow can limit oxygen uptake and ultimately affect performance. It is also a risk factor for early heart disease. Folic acid, needed during periods of cell growth, can also be found in foods such as fortified cereals and grains, dried beans, leafy greens and citrus juices.