Folic acid, a water-soluble B-complex vitamin, is essential to form red blood cells, produce DNA and RNA, prevent age-related hearing loss, as well as prevent pregnancy-related complications such as major congenital deformities or neural birth defects.
Folic acid, sometimes a synthetic form of folate, is vital in producing red blood cells, metabolizing homocysteine, and in the creation of DNA and RNA, the building blocks of all cells. It is also essential in maintaining the amino acid levels and preventing cancer-related DNA changes. It is usually found in supplements and fortified foods such as cereals. Since it's hard getting enough folate from natural foods such as leafy vegetables, beans, or citrus fruits, it's important to take the right amount of folic acid to prevent folic acid deficiency.
Folic acid deficiency occurs when there's lower-than-normal folic acid present in the body. Folic acid deficiency may cause health issues such as anemia, peptic ulcer, diarrhea, clinical depression, memory loss, and neural birth defects including spina bifida and anencephaly. Studies also linked folic acid deficiency to autism and birth defects such as cleft lip and palate.
Symptoms of folic acid deficiency include the following:
- Weight loss
- Mouth sores
- Lack of energy
- Decrease in memory or cognitive function
- Mood disorders
Consuming dark green vegetables and other folic-acid-rich foods can prevent folic acid deficiency. Foods with high content of folic acid include asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, egg yolk, lettuce, kidney, fruits, spinach, peas, potato, among others. Folic acid supplements can also be taken to prevent folic acid deficiency, especially in pregnant women. Research studies recommend that pregnant or planning-to-get-pregnant women should take more doses of folic acid before and during pregnancy. Doing so ensures the growth of the spinal cord in the womb and prevent any deformities in newborn infants, as well as other complications brought about by folic acid deficiency.
As with all things, everything must be taken in moderation. Having too much folic acid from supplements and fortified foods can create a host of minor and major health issues. Minor side effects include nausea, loss of appetite, bloating, gas, sleep disturbances, excessive excitement, irritability, or zinc deficiency. Major side effects include numbness or tingling, mouth pain, weakness, confusion, fatigue, seizures, psychotic behavior, or inability to concentrate.
Most people also have some problems with taking folic acid not properly or fully metabolizing in their systems. This may be due to alcohol, pharmaceutical medicine, or a genetic defect known as methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) mutation.
Individuals with the MTHFR mutation have a decreased ability to convert folate or folic acid into a usable form. A research study has shown that a large percentage of the population has the MTHFR mutation. Signs and symptoms of this mutation include blood sugar level problems, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, or heart issues.
Individuals with the MTHFR mutation can instead take methylated folic acid, also known as methylfolate, to prevent folic acid deficiency. Like folic acid supplements, methyfolate supplements also prevent a myriad of health issues linked to folic acid deficiency such as heart conditions, anemia, diarrhea, clinical depression, diarrhea, neural birth defects, and other such related health problems.
When your doctor prescribes methylfolate supplements for your folic acid requirements, you can go to Methyl-life to get quality supplements at reasonable prices. At Methyl-life, you are assured of fast and reliable service.
- What to know about folic acid, Christian Nordqvist, 27 October 2017. - https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219853.php
- Folic acid overview information –
- Folic acid in diet –
- Don't Take Vitamins That Your Body Can Convert Properly –
- Signs & Symptoms of Having Too Much Folic Acid in Your Body, Erica Wickham, 3 October 2017 –