Vitamin Supplement

Folic acid: Benefits,Sources & Foods


 Folic Acid benefits exceed side effects.Folic acid is an essential vitamin that is also known as folate and folacin.It is a B vitamin needed for cell replication and growth.

At least 50% of whole body folate is stored in the liver.

Its benefits exceed its side effects.

Sources - Foods high in folic acid : The folate content of foods is variable and a large fraction of folic acid consumed each day comes from foods that are frequently ingested, but not particularly concentrated .

Excellent foods that contain this vitamin are beans, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits and juice, beets, wheat germ, and meat.

Other sources of foods high in this vitamin include fortified cereals, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach, chickpeas or lentils. Many cereal-grain foods (pasta,flour,rice,cornmeal) constitute important sources because they are fortified with folate.

Folic Acid Dosage: Medical literature recommend that all women who are or who could become pregnant take 400 mcg per day in order to reduce the risk of birth defects.

Pregnant women need a greater amount, 600 mcg, for building red blood cells; lactating women require 500 mcg.Many physician extend these recommendations to other people in an attempt to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering homocysteine levels.

Folic acid facts

Benefits of folic acid - Functions : Folic acid is used by the body to build blocks of DNA, the body’s genetic information, blocks of RNA, needed for protein synthesis in all cells.

Fast growing tissues, such as those of a fetus, and rapidly regenerating cells, like red blood cells and immune cells, have a high need for folate.

its deficiency results in a form of anemia that responds quickly to folate supplementation.

Folic acid and pregnancy:

The requirement for this supplement increases considerably during pregnancy.When pregnant women are deficient low birth weight and an increased incidence of neural tube defects in infants may appear.

Women who were at high risk of giving birth to babies with neural tube defects were able to lower their risk by 70% by taking folate supplements prior to and during pregnancy.

Other birth defects may be prevented with this supplement supplementation as well.

Women who take folate around the time they conceive may certainly reduce the risk of other congenital malformations, such as defects of the upper lip ,heart defects and limb-reduction defects and urinary tract defects .

Other benefits of folic acid is the fact that it is needed to keep homocysteine levels in blood from rising. An elevated homocysteine level is a risk factor for heart disease and several other diseases.

Folate and certain other B vitamins function as cofactors for enzymes that help lower homocysteine levels. Research has shown that supplementation with folic acid can reduce greatly homocysteine levels.

It appears to be the most important B vitamins in lowering homocysteine levels for the average person.

A folic acid deficiency has also been associated with coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease even when people get normal homocysteine levels.

This suggests that the vitamin may have protective effects that extend beyond its role in maintaining normal homocysteine levels.

A diet low in folic has been associated with a high incidence of pre-cancerous polyps in the colon, suggesting that folate may prevent the development of colon cancer.

Folic intake was not associated with overall risk of breast cancer in preliminary studies.However, among women who consume at least one alcoholic beverage per day, the risk of breast cancer appears to be highest among those with low folate intake.

Recommended Products

Total Balance for women which contains folic acid 500 mcgs and other important nutrients.


Other  Facts

Folic acid deficiency: Many people consume less than the recommended amount of folate.

Scientists have found that people with heart disease commonly have elevated blood levels of homocysteine, a laboratory test abnormality often controllable with folate supplements.

Increasing folic intake could help prevent an estimated 15,500 deaths from cardiovascular diseases each year.

Its deficiency has also been common in alcoholics, people living at poverty level, those with malabsorption disorders or liver disease (e.g., cirrhosis), and women taking the birth control pill.

Recently, elderly people with hearing loss have been reported to be much more likely to be folic acid deficient than healthy elderly people.A variety of prescription drugs including antacids,cimetidine,triamterene,some anticancer drugs,anticonvulsants and sulfasalazine interfere with folate.

Folic deficiency can be precipitated by situations wherein the body requires greater than normal amounts of the vitamin, such as infancy,pregnancy,exfoliative dermatitis leukemia and diseases that cause the destruction of blood cells.

People with kidney failure have an increased risk of folate deficiency. Recipients of kidney transplants often have elevated homocysteine levels, which may respond to supplementation with folate.


Folic acid side effects - Its toxicity - Its overdose:Massive (nonphysiological) doses given by injection have produced evidence of neuro- and nephrotoxicity.

The main concern of large doses of dietary folate intakes and commonly available supplements is that a large intake might mask a B12 deficiency by allowing some synthesis of blood cells by temporarily relieving the block of nucleotide synthesis.

This possibility should be continually evaluated in populations at risk, including the elderly individuals.

Health Related Conditions to folic: It has been used in connection with the following conditions :

1)Birth defects prevention


3)Gingivitis (periodontal disease)

4)High homocysteine (in combination with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12)

5)Pap smear

6)Pregnancy and postpartum support

7)Schizophrenia (for deficiency) 8)Anemia (for thalassemia if deficient)


10)Breast cancer (reduces risk in women who consume alcohol)

11)Cancer sores

12)Celiac disease

13)Colon cancer

14)Heart attack


16)Sickle cell anemia (for lowering homocysteine levels)

17)Skin ulcers

18)Ulcerative colitis