Importance of Folic acid
Folic acid is a form of vitamin B-9. It is a major ingredient or component of the genetic material that’s why very important for the developing fetus. It is a complex B vitamin. It has many health benefits mainly for the developing fetus e.g on the brain development. The mothers who while pregnancy take the folic acid supplements, their babies tend to develop more IQ than others that don’t. It also has its role in red blood cell production and preventing hearing loss. It also preserves the brain health of an infant. Vitamin B-9 includes both folate and folic acid. It is a pregnancy superhero. In this article, the discussion will be about the folic acid importance, sources and its deficiency symptoms and effects of overdoses.
Importance of folic acid:
Folic acid is too much important for each and every woman as they are going to be a mother one day.
Folic acids main benefit is its role in healthy fetal brain and spinal cord development. It tends to reduce the neural tube defects up to minimum.
It has been recommended that the girls who are in child-bearing age should take folic acid after they are more than 14 years of age.
The woman who takes the folic acid supplements for an year before conception are at the 50 percent lesser risks of premature child birth.
Moreover, by the consumption of the folate, the birth defects of brain and spinal cord e.g spina bifida and anencephaly. As the brain and spinal cord development is mostly in the first four weeks of the fetal development so folate is strictly recommended during this period of pregnancy to reduce the deformities in the child birth.
Recommended doses of folic acid:
The recommendation for the folic acid varies according to the women condition and the phase of life. The common recommended doses are:
While you are trying to conceive; you should take 400 mcg of folic acid daily
For the first three months of pregnancy; the recommended daily dose of folic acid is 400 mcg
During pregnancy from the third month to ninth month; recommended dose as 600 mcg
For a woman who is lactating; the recommended dose id 500 mcg
Importance of folic acid other than pregnancy:
Folic acid has many more functions. These functions are important too. These are:
Folic acid has its role in the red blood cell production.
It is involved in the synthesis and repair of the DNA and RNA.
It helps in rapid cell division and hence enhancing the growth and development of an individual.
It improves the brain health and IQ status of the developing child.
It minimizes the age-related hearing loss.
It has been studied that the folic acid supplementation may reduce the risks of cleft palate.
Folic acid supplements have been shown to reduce the gastro-intestinal side effects caused by several drugs. The recommended dose for such condition is 1mg per day.
Sources of folic acid:
The food sources of folic acids are considered more healthy as compared to supplements as the body responds to nature more effectively. So the different sources of folic acid are:
Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in folate. Don’t overcook them as the folic acid is sensitive to heat and is lost.
Many fruits e.g papaya
Whole wheat bread
Besides anemia and other ailments, folic acid deficiency cause many other health problems. These include:
A higher risk of developing depression
Reduction in mental health and memory shortage or loss
A higher risk of developing allergic diseases
Its deficiency also tends to lower the bone density thus; contributing in osteoporosis
Symptoms of folic acid deficieny:
The deficiency of folic acid may occur due to many reasons and involves the following symptoms:
Pale color of the skin
Sores around the mouth
Loss of appetite
Side-effects of over doses:
There is no considerable side effect of the over doses of folic acid but some people may experience some sort of stomach irritation. As it is water soluble, so excess is passed in urine.
So, in the light of above discussion, folic acid or folate is a very important micro nutrient that at least must be added in the diets of adult women on the daily bases to prevent the presumptive losses and ailments.
Importance of Folic acid