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Folic acid

Folic acid

Folic acid or folate is actually water soluble forms of Vitamin B that is found in high quantity in green vegetables and leaves. It is one of the important constituents that play a major role in maintaining growth and metabolism of the cell. It is used for the treatment of several defects acquired from birth itself. It works effectively for pregnant women because it can provide protection against several birth defects.

Benefits of taking Folic Acid

  • Pregnant women should take folic acid supplements during their pregnancy because it can provide protection against several birth defects like neural disorders and spine problem
  • It is very effective against cancer treatment
  • Folic acid has also played major role in treating heart and cardiovascular diseases
  • It enhances the effect of other antidepressant drugs and helps in treating depression

Natural Sources of Folic Acid
Folic acid is abundantly found in leafy and green veggies like spinach, mustard greens. It is also present in several citrus fruits as well, like orange, raspberries, grapes, etc. Other vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, lentils, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, avocado, cauliflower, beets, carrots, celery, and squash also have the folic acid in abundance.

When should you take Folic acid?
Folic acid can be taken as a supplement in several cases, but it should be taken with your doctor’s advice. Pregnant women are advised to take folic acid supplements as it helps in protecting the developing embryo from any neural and birth defects. It works in improving digestive problems and rheumatoid arthritis also.

When should you avoid Folic acid?
Though it is very magical in several cases, yet it exhibits certain side effects also which should not be ignored while taking supplements of folic acid. Patients suffering from leukaemia should avoid it. People who are hypersensitive might develop some of its symptoms after consuming it, so they should not have folic acid without proper advice.

Quantity to be taken:
The standard dosage of folic acid recommended by the RDA is different for different age groups: 0-6 month kids should have 65micrograms per day, 14years and up can take 400micrograms a day while pregnant and lactating mothers can take 500-600micrograms per day.

Expert Tips/Precautions:

  • It can show several side effects like itching, skin problems, sneezing, etc. So, people with hypersensitivity should not take folic acid supplements without proper guidance
  • It can reduce blood zinc levels if it is taken in a concentration of 400mcg a day
  • Leukaemia patients should definitely avoid taking folic acid as its deficiency is favourable for the patients.