Folic Acid and BV – Can Folate Treat Bacterial Vaginosis?
As you probably know by now, BV is an inflammation of the vaginal area caused by the proliferation of so-called “bad” bacteria. When they become too numerous, they interrupt the natural balance of vaginal flora. This, in turn, results in bacterial vaginosis infection and the related symptoms like discharge, itching and foul odor. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that can help with bacterial vaginosis and folic acid is one of them.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that certain nutrients can affect the severity of BV and that women with diets higher in folate, calcium and vitamin E were less likely to contract BV than women whose diets lacked these key nutrients. For those unfamiliar with folic acid, it is synthetic version of folate which, in turn, is a form of Vitamin B.
Although the exact science isn’t fully understood at this point, researchers suspect that folate and other essential vitamins help strengthen the body’s natural defenses, thus lowering the risk of BV developing.
The most commonly recommended daily dosage of folic acid is 400 micrograms per day. As with all vitamins, the best source is always a diet high in nutrient rich foods. Romaine lettuce, asparagus, peanuts, wheat germ, beef liver, beans and peas are excellent sources. Some breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B are also a decent option. However, if you find that you just can’t get enough folate in the food you consume, another option is taking a folic acid supplement which you can readily obtain at any supermarket or drug store.
Folic acid is considered very safe as evidenced by the fact that it is a key supplement recommended to pregnant women. However, if taken in extremely high doses it can cause stomach problems, skin reactions and sleeplessness. It can also cause seizures in people taking medication for convulsions. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t exceed the recommended dosage and that you speak with your doctor if you have any concerns that you might be at risk for complications.
While folate (folic acid) can help treat your BV and reduce the risk of it recurring, there is no evidence that it will completely cure bacterial vaginosis on its own. Therefore, I always recommend that BV sufferers take a “holistic” approach to the treatment of their bacterial vaginosis and that they consider a natural treatment program which incorporates several methods of treating the underlying causes of the condition. This, in my opinion, is the very best way of getting rid of bacterial vaginosis for good.