Benefits Of Folic Acid

Benefits Of Folic Acid



Introduction:

Folic acid, a​ water soluble B vitamin, occurs naturally in​ food and​ can also be taken as​ food supplements. Naturally occurring sources of​ folic acid includes green leaf vegetables (spinach, turnip), poultry, pork, shellfish, peas beans, liver, cereal and​ citrus furies. Folic acid is​ one of​ the necessary elements required for​ production​ and​ maintenance of​ human cell.

Folic acid deficiency and​ diseases:

Folic acid deficiency may cause various disorders. Some of​ these are highlighted below.

• Folic acid deficiency may cause weakness, poor growth, graying hair, inflammation​ of​ the tongue, palpitations and​ behavioral disorder.
• Folic acid deficiency is​ also associated with common​ stomach disorders including diarrhea, mouth ulcer and​ peptic ulcer, loss of​ appetite and​ weight loss.
• Folic acid deficiency in​ pregnant women may cause premature delivery, low birth weight of​ infants and​ infants with neural tube defects (NTD s).
• Anemia is​ sometimes associated with the advance stage of​ folic acid deficiency.
• you​ may need increased folic acid intake if​ you​ are anemic, have kidney or​ liver disease, pregnant or​ breast-feeding. in​ all such cases you​ should consult your​ doctor before taking folic acid supplements.
• The maximum folic acid intake should be limited to​ 1000 micro grams per day or​ as​ directed by the health care provider.
• Some other medications may interact with folic acid includes medicines for​ epilepsy, medicines for​ controlling blood sugar, methotrexate (medicines for​ treating cancer) and​ diuretics. if​ you​ are taking any of​ these medicines, you​ should contact your​ doctor.
• if​ you​ are 50 years of​ age, you​ should carry out your​ vitamin​ B 12 level before taking supplemental diet of​ folic acid, as​ these are chances of​ interaction​ between B12 vitamins and​ folic acid.

Folic acid benefits:

Role of​ folic acid during pregnancy:

Neural tube defects (NTD s) is​ a​ major defect of​ brain​ and​ spine in​ babies causing damage to​ the brain​ or​ spine. The major NTD s include spina bifida ( spine problem) and​

Anencephaly (brain​ problem) and​ up to​ 70% of​ these NTD s can be prevented by taking enough folic acid every day before conception​ and​ during pregnancy.

A woman is​ likely to​ be at​ higher risk to​ deliver a​ NTD s affected baby if​ she has a​ previous NTD s affected pregnancy, is​ diabetic, takes medicine to​ treat epilepsy and​ is​ of​ Hispanic ethnicity.

Every woman, who is​ likely to​ become pregnant, should take 400 micro grams of​ folic acid every day. Consuming supplemental folic acid in​ addition​ to​ a​ healthy folic acid rich diet before and​ during pregnancy significantly reduces the risk of​ having neural tube defects in​ babies.

Spina Bifida and​ Anencephaly disorders: Spina bifida is​ a​ spine disorder and​ part of​ spine at​ the lower end is​ damaged and​ a​ sack of​ fluid is​ entrapped in​ the baby’s back. Most children born with this​ spinal disorder survives full life and​ often has lifelong symptoms including unable to​ move lower part of​ the body, loss of​ bowl and​ bladder and​ fluid pressure to​ the brain.

Anencephaly is​ a​ brain​ disorder and​ part of​ the brain​ skull bones may not form in​ babies. Most of​ the babies having this​ defects die before or​ just after birth.

Role of​ folic acid and​ heart disease:

Low concentration​ of​ folic acid may increase the amino acid homocysteine in​ the blood levels and​ consequently increases the risk of​ heart disease. High level of​ homocysteine may damage the coronary arteries or​ can cause the blood clots, however there is​ no evidence that supplemented folic acid will reduce the risk of​ heart disease.

Role of​ folic acid and​ cancer:

Folic acid is​ one of​ the essential elements involved in​ the synthesis of​ DNA and​ its deficiency may cause defects in​ DNA and​ consequently may lead to​ cancer. There are enough evidence to​ conclude that the deficiency of​ folic acid is​ associated with the increased risk of​ breast, colon​ and​ pancreatic cancer, however it​ is​ not advisable to​ supplement folic acid for​ reducing the risk of​ such cancers.




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