What Is Folic Acid Used For? | Why Take Folic Acid?: All About It

(Last Updated On: April 18, 2022)

Folic acid is a format of vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin complex that comprises eight different vitamins. It has lots of functions that help in cell production.

It helps to repair the synthesis of RNA and DNA. Thus, it plays a vital role in the forming of genetic material for fatal growth and development. Women consuming folic acid to have significantly reduced the risk of developing hypertension. B9 also admits to the metabolism of amino acids.

Must read: Focused Antenatal Care Planning And Providing Care During Pregnancy

Now we are introducing some more information about Folic acid, which is worth knowing.

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Table of Contents

Why take folic acid?

Folic acid helps the body make healthy red blood cells and is found in some foods. Folic acid is used to: treat folate deficiency anemia. Also, help your future baby’s brain and spinal cord develop well to avoid development problems such as spina bifida.

Causes of folic acid intake

We need folic acid in the following circumstances.

  • Poor dietary plans
  • Alcoholism
  • Diseases or surgeries that affect folate absorption in the digestive system, including gastric bypass and short bowel syndrome
  • Low stomach acid
  • Pregnancy
  • Anemia
  • Dialysis

Also read: What Does Vitamin B Complex Do? | All About Vitamin B Complex

Signs and symptoms of folic acid deficiency

These are the following signs that can see due to folic acid deficiency.

  • Mild jaundice
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Being irritable
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue, Tiredness
  • Neurological symptoms (Less common)

You must read this article: Jaundice In Newborn Child: Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment

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Benifits of folic acid

Let’s talk about the advantages of having folic acid.

  • Highly beneficial for pregnant women because it can help prevent some significant congenital disabilities of the baby’s brain and spine.
  • Helps to reduce Neural tube defects during pregnancy.
  • Protects baby from heart defects and reduce risk of pregnancy complications
  • Prevent premature infants
  • Boosts blood cell production
  • Helps to prevent anemia
  • Vital for children’s growth
  • Helps to maintain the blood pressure level
  • Promote heart health
  • Energy booster
  • For healthy hair, skin, and nail
  • Helps to keep the brain young
  • Natural depression
  • remedy
  • Decrease the risk of colon cancer

To get started, you’ll need to know:

Recommended daily allowances

  • 1-3 years of age : 150 mcg/day
  • 4-8 years of age : 200 mcg/day
  • 9-13 years of age : 300 mcg/day
  • 13 years and older : 400 mcg/day
  • Lactation : 500 mcg/day
  • pregnancy : 600 mcg/day

Folic acid side effects

This vitamin does not have any particular side effects, but overdoes can cause it. Folic acid greater than 1 mg can cause side effects such as

  • Abdominal pain
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Decreased appetite
  • Skin reactions such as rashes or itchiness
  • Behavior changes
  • Gas
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Stomach problems
  • Kidney disorder
  • Seizers

Must read: Severe Anemia In Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Here I highly recommend Nature’s Bounty Immune. This supplement provides 24 Hours plus provides Super B-Complex with Folic Acid Plus Vitamin C extra immune plus antioxidant support; Folic Acid helps support energy metabolism and promotes the health of pregnant women. So you can get the most out of life every day.

Why is folic acid important in pregnancy?

Folic acid is a superhero for pregnancy! Getting a prenatal vitamin with the recommended 400 mg (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent your baby’s brain and spinal cord congenital disabilities. Take it every day and go forward and have a bowl of solid cereal, too.

I also wrote a tutorial on Pregnancy Tips | Pregnancy Care that you can follow.

When Should I Start Taking Folic Acid?

Congenital disabilities happen within the first 3-4 weeks of your pregnancy. So it’s essential to have folate in your system during the early stages when your baby’s brain and spinal cord are developing.

If you talked to your gynecologist when trying to conceive, they probably told you to start taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid. One research revealed that women who took folic acid for at least a year before becoming pregnant decrease their chances of delivering early by 50% or more.

How Much Folic Acid Should I Take?

how much folic acid is recommended every day in terms of pregnancy:

  • While you’re trying to conceive: 400 mcg
  • First three months of pregnancy: 400 mcg
  • For four to nine months pregnancy: 600 mcg
  • While breastfeeding: 500 mcg

What happens if you don't take folic acid when pregnant?

Folic acid is the most simplistic form of folate that everyone needs. If you can get pregnant or are pregnant, folic acid is essential. Folic acid protects unborn babies against severe congenital disabilities. You can get folic acid of vitamins and fortified foods, such as pieces of bread, pasta, and cereals. Folate is found commonly in foods such as leafy green vegetables, oranges, and beans.

I also wrote a tutorial on A Healthy Diet Plan During Pregnancy | Calcium Rich Diet During Pregnancy that you can follow and it will help you definitely.

Creating new life creates new nutritional needs too. That’s why here I highly recommend Nature Made folic acid. This multivitamin provides Folic Acid & 17 other nutrients to support the mom’s health and support the baby’s brain, eyes, and nervous system development in only one daily tablet. Buy and enjoy its benefits.

What foods can I eat that are high in folic acid?

A variety of foods naturally include folate, but the form added to supplements foods and folic acid is significantly absorbed. In 1998, the U.S. Food Administration ordered food companies to add folic acid to foods commonly eaten, including pieces of bread, cereals, rice, pasta, and other grain products, to overcome the risk of neural tube defects. It helped to increase the average folic acid intake by about 100 mcg/day. Good sources of folic acid include:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fresh fruits, fruit juices
  • Whole grains
  • Liver
  • Beans
  • Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Fortified foods and supplements

I also wrote a tutorial on How Can I Boost My Immune System? that you can follow.

What is the difference between Folate and Folic Acid?

 

Folic acid

Folate

Benefit

  • Easily absorbed by human body
  • Helps prevent birth irregularities
  • Occurs in a wide range of foods and reduce the need for supplements

Risks

  • Interact with some medications
  • Mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Interact with some medications
  • May mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency

Side effects

  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Appetite

Folate from sources is unlikely to cause side effects.

Frequently Asked Question

Best time of the day to take folic acid for pregnancy?

If you take folic acid every day, take it simultaneously each day, either in the morning or in the evening. Take your folic acid pills with water. You can take folic acid with and without meals. If you forget to take your amount, take it as soon as you determine it.

Folic acid side effects

It is likely safe for some people to take folic acid in doses of no more than 1 mg daily. However, doses high than 1 mg daily may be unsafe. These doses might cause stomach upset, irritability, confusion, behavior changes, nausea, diarrhea, skin reactions, seizures, and other side effects.

What should I avoid when taking folic acid?

Antibiotics, tetracycline — should not take folic acid simultaneously as the antibiotic tetracycline because it interferes with the absorption and effectiveness. Either alone or in a mix with other B vitamins, you should not take folic acid at different times from tetracycline.

How long does folic acid take to work?

When folic acid is taken for deficits, the advantages are usually felt fast. In some cases, you’ll feel better within 24 hours. But don’t stop taking it because you feel ok. Take it for as long as it is prescribed.

How long does folic acid take to work for anemia?

Folate-deficiency anemia most often reacts well to treatment within 3 to 7 months.

Conclusion

Folic acid is a vital water-soluble vitamin that is required for several different biological pathways. Because it is essential, we can get this vitamin from our diet. Unfortunately, B9 deficiency is common because most people do not consume a balanced diet.

Related: Multiple pregnancies: Symptoms ,Causes, and Treatment

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