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
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
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
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
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.
Total Balance for women which contains
folic acid 500 mcgs and other important nutrients.
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
Increasing folic intake could help prevent an
estimated 15,500 deaths from cardiovascular diseases each
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
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
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
This possibility should be continually
evaluated in populations at risk, including the elderly
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)
6)Pregnancy and postpartum support
7)Schizophrenia (for deficiency) 8)Anemia (for
thalassemia if deficient)
10)Breast cancer (reduces risk in women who
16)Sickle cell anemia (for lowering