Folic acid: Folic acid is known as the water soluble vitamin B9 or folate. It is a member of the family of eight B vitamins. It is also referred to as vitamin M, vitamin B₉, vitamin Bc, pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, and pteroyl-L-glutamate. However, folic acid will not treat Vitamin B12 deficiency and will not prevent from the diseases due to lack of vitamin B12.
Before taking this medicine: Although folic acid is a very safe medicine and doesn’t have any side effect still you should not take folic acid by your own especially if you have any of these-
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to folic acid
- Kidney disease
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Benefits of folic acid: Folic acid is the key in the development of red blood cells. White blood cells are also manufactured in presence of folic acid. Because of this lack of folic acid can make the body susceptible to cancer.
Folic acid is good for heart health too. Folate deficiency can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, coronary complications, and strokes in patients.
A deficiency may cause an increased risk of depression, dementia, stress and aging.
Benefits of folic acid before, during and after pregnancy: Folic acid benefits are generally known to help to women who are trying to conceive however you don’t realize that this vitamin is also beneficial for men’s reproductive system. This vitamin is essential for men’s sperm health.
Folic acid is not harmful for unborn baby and its dosage may need to increase during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is proved that folic acid is helpful to reduce the risks of complications for a developing unborn baby. Folic acid is vital during periods of rapid cell growth, and can also help prevent miscarriage. This is advised to start taking folic acid 2-3 months before conception for a better pregnancy. A lack of folate during pregnancy can lead to gaps in the development of the spinal cord, which can result in paralysis, brain damage, or a stillborn child.
Side effect of folic acid: These are some of the symptoms of allergic reaction or over dosage of folic acid like –
- Bloating, gas
- Nausea, loss of appetite
- Difficult breathing
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Sleep problems
- Bitter or unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Feeling excited or irritable
You should consult your doctor immediately if you find any of these symptoms.
Natural sources of folic acid: Although there are various supplements available in the market but taking naturally is always better. If you take naturally then there is no risk of side effects and over dosage. In case your body require more folic acid then you doctor will suggest you right dosage for this.
- Brussels sprouts
- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, collards, cabbage, lettuce, and turnip greens
- Carrots and other root vegetables
- Sweet bell peppers
- Whole grains, wheat germ and bulgur wheat
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Bananas, strawberries, oranges, Orange, pineapple and grapefruit juice
- Beans and peas