Home > Biology, Science > The Sicko Experiment: Part 4

The Sicko Experiment: Part 4

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

No, I haven’t forgotten about this. Usually by the fourth installment, though, the audience is getting restless and want something new. Maybe I should just reboot the whole project and start from scratch.

Nah.

Folic Acid

Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but so far folic acid seems like the mack daddy of vitamins. It’s used in DNA synthesis and repair and it’s especially important in moments of rapid cell division and growth. That means babies need it. If you don’t love folic acid, then you don’t love babies. It also prevents anemia (or, as pretentious people spell it, anæmia). In fact, there’s very little that folate doesn’t do. A lack of it can create neural tube defects in babies, since folic acid is heavily used in the embryonic growth of the brain and spinal cord. Deficiencies are also linked to diabetes and weight gain since folic acid increases the breakdown of fatty acids, called lipolysis. Getting enough folic acid has been shown to prevent certain types of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Deficiencies have even been shown to effect mood and memory. It’s like a wonder vitamin.

Pantothenic Acid

Nobody really cares about pantothenic acid because it’s found in most foods. Usually, if you’re suffering from pantothenic deficiency, you’re already starving to death, so it hasn’t been studied nearly as well as some of the other vitamins. Still, pantohenic acid is necessary. It’s a B vitamin and like most other B vitamins, it’s used in metabolism.

There have been numerous studies in the uses of excess pantothenic acid use. In one study, it was found that rats deprived of pantothenic acid experienced hair loss. As a result, scientists decided to add it to their hair care products. There was no noticeable effect on humans with the addition, but some products still advertise the use of it. Pantothenic acid has been shown to decrease acne and to reduce infertility rates after instances of testicular torsion. That’s right. If one of your balls gets twisted around, a shot of pantothenic acid can reduce the occurance of testicular death. I’m sure that will become useful to someone later.

That’s all for now, but stay tuned next time when we move into the elements. Calcium, iron and magnesium are up next.

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