Does alcohol affect folic acid?

If you’re anything like me, then you enjoy a drink or three at the end of a hard day. Maybe it’s a glass of red with dinner, maybe it’s a few beers after work. Either way, alcohol is often seen as an important part of our social lives and an effective stress-buster. But what about the effect that alcohol has on our health? Specifically, does it affect folic acid levels in the body? Read on to find out.

What is Folic Acid?

Before we get into whether or not alcohol affects folic acid levels in the body, let’s first understand what exactly folic acid is. According to my good friends over at Wikipedia, folic acid (also known as vitamin B9) is an essential nutrient responsible for important bodily functions such as cell growth and development, DNA synthesis and repair, neural tube formation during pregnancy (very important), and various other metabolic processes.

Our bodies don’t naturally produce enough folic acid to meet its needs – hence why we need to obtain it through external sources such as diet or supplements.

How Does Alcohol Affect Folate Levels?

Now that we have covered the basics of what folic acid is all about; let’s dive right into answering your suspenseful question – “Does alcohol affect folic acid?” The simple answer here would be yes there may be some negative consequences relating drinking too much booze/frequent heavy drinking patterns on folate metabolism/performance.

Folate Level Reduction
A big issue with excessive amounts/alcoholism over time can lead to less absorption/availability/distribution across tissues leading up too impaired biological performance due lack of inadequate dietary administration which means nutrients required mightn’t suffice further decreasing folate concentration.

Increased Excretion & Poor Retention
Intake alcoholic beverages leads directly excretion urinary portions/feces which contributes channeling away from the body of potential folate utilization mean your blood gets depleted further bodily function (due to higher breakdown rates/stress).

Distrupted Methylation Cycles
Serious drinking habits can be a cause for lower levels of active forms Folate within body-this deficient state may impact epigenetic changes affecting methylation cycles as chances increase DNA synthesis during actual liver metabolism.

How Much Alcohol is Too Much?

So, we now know that alcohol can negatively affect folic acid in the body. But what does this actually mean in terms of how much alcohol you should or shouldn’t consume? I hate to break it to you folks but there’s no magic number here! However, evidence shows that:

  • Heavy drinkers are more likely to have lower folate levels compared to moderate drinkers.
  • Women who regularly drink over five drinks per week are at greater risk for having low folate levels.

Though there’s still lesser evidences relative, reduced intake might not always restore main plasma or WBC concentration capacity where neglecting adequate dietary policies and excessiveness could fasten depletion/impairment which increases risks/complications badly by time so better avoid too much exposure!

What Foods Contain Folic Acid?

If you’re concerned about your folic acid levels and want to make an effort towards improving them through other means than abstinence from alcohol then good news – many foods contain high amounts of folic acid! Here is a list:

Food Amount
Lentils 1 cup
Asparagus 1 cup
Spinach 1 cup
Broccoli 1 cup
Papaya Small whole fruit

And if these aren’t really your thing with probably blame veggie hating genes-personally think all can’t go wrong adding avocadoes & squeezing apples into ‘em for extra flavor and folate packed sandwich that’s my go-to!


Overall, it’s clear that alcohol does have an impact on folic acid levels in the body. But as always, moderation is key. If you are a moderate drinker – say yes to pour of two! However, if you are concerned about your folic acid levels or know someone who may be having inadequate intake problems coughs loudly, make sure to adopt better dietary strategies (include more green veggies such broccoli & spinach) with our favorite boozy beverages as well possibly bringing supplements into play for some added support!

Remember; screwball drinking patterns would appear playing Russian roulette since too high intakes could lead reducing absorption/availability across important tissues drastically lowering bodily functions which isn’t what one desires especially compromising folate metabolism further down the track.

Stay safe, stay healthy folks!