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Keep folate up in summer

Every cell needs folate to maintain healthy DNA, and low levels have a link to anemia and more serious conditions.

Some scientists believe sunlight can degrade folate. Here, doctors compared folate levels in 118,831 adults hospitalized for folate deficiency or anemia, in samples taken over five summers and winters, and found the chances of folate deficiency were 137 percent higher in summer than in winter.

Even though women get less folate from diet than men, men had lower folate levels than women, which doctors said may be due to hormonal differences, or because women take more supplements and use more sun protection on the skin.

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