What effect does alcohol have on folate-absorption?

Alcohol is a toxin that affects folate absorption and a potential threat that causes many fatal disorders.


Folates belong to the B-group category of vitamins, necessary for the methylation of substances such as; neurotransmitters, DNA, hormones, etc. Folates help to synthesize the nucleotides precursors in your body. The activated form of folate is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate that works in the body. Folic acid is a dietary form of folate that is consumed to replenish its needs.

What is Folate Absorption?

A process in which folates absorption happens from the gastrointestinal tract into the neighboring tissues to provide their services in your body. The folates metabolization (breakdown) takes place in the liver.

Unfortunately, your body cannot synthesize folates, thus absorption should be effective. If you take folate-rich foods, but your body does not actively absorb it, you will definitely experience folate deficiency.

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What is the mechanism of folate absorption?

The folate absorption mechanism is not straightforward, and is pretty much complicated, and comprises of many steps. The slight changes in the conditions like; pH, energy, temperature, and the captivity of transporters reduces folate absorption from the intestine.

The intestinal brush border membrane (BBM) triggers the folates hydrolyzation with the help of an enzyme known as carboxy glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCP II). Then folate carries and is transported to the neighboring tissues. The transport system is involved in the folate uptaking into your body blood.

The transport system include;reduced folate carrier (RFC), folate binding protein (FBP),proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT), and organic anion transporters (OATs). You should thank these systems that make feasible folate absorption in your body.

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How does alcohol affect folate absorption?

Drinking alcohol is considered a fashion in the United States. The statistic report of 2021 indicates that 60% of people consume alcohol in the US. Too much alcohol leaves an impact on every organ inside your body. Many parameters are responsible for folate deficiency including, poor dietary habits, chronic alcoholism, and certain disorders.

However, the most contributing agent is alcohol, which directly impairs folate absorption in the tissues. Alcohol reduces the efficacy of folate binding protein; as a result, fewer folate molecules bind with protein and lower the absorption. Similarly, it influences the transporter activities. And most folate is excreted through urine without absorption in your body.

Consequently, less amount of folate would be available in the body; overall, your body efficiency reduces. In this way, alcohol induces folate malabsorption and leads to folate deficiency.

What effects does folate deficiency have due to alcohol?

Alcohol induces folate deficiency, creating an interruption in your body’s cycles. Folate deficiency causes improper DNA methylation (important process) and produces many diseases. Folate is essential during pregnancy; if pregnant women intake alcohol, it damages the fetus cells.

If you intake excessive alcohol, you may receive chronic liver disorders and reduce your body’s metabolism. However, several diseases are associated with alcohol.

If you are alcohol addicted, consult with a doctor and try to avoid this bad habit. Alcohol does not destroy your body; it indirectly affects your family.


Folate is related to B-complex vitamins, a significant contributor to maintaining your body’s performance. However, many factors interfere with it, main is drinking alcohol. It lowers folate absorption by reducing the efficiency of binding protein and transporters. As a result, your body faces folate deficiency and disturbed body mechanisms. Alcohol also induces the malabsorption of other essential nutrients.


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