Healthy Foods and Vitamins

Side Effects of Folic Acid

Usually, no side effects are observed in people who take folic acid. Some may experience several symptoms while taking folic acid, including:

Side effects of folic acid

Vitamin B12 deficiency: Anemia can occur due to a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12, so taking folate supplements may treat anemia without treating B12 deficiency, which may lead to nerve damage. [2]

  • Decreased brain function.
  • Nausea.
  • Gas or bloating.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Feeling depressed or overly excited.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • diarrhea.
  • Skin rash.
  • Confusion and change in behavior.

Rare Side Effects of Folic Acid

Eating very high levels of folic acid may cause :

  • Increased risk of colon or rectal cancer.
  • Increased risk of heart attack for people with heart problems.
  • Increased risk of lung cancer.

Benefits of Folic Acid

Eating a sufficient amount of folic acid has great health benefits, and these benefits include:

Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: A deficiency of folic acid during the first weeks of pregnancy may lead to the newborn developing neural tube defects, as studies have shown that taking folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy reduces neural tube defects by a large percentage.

Cancer prevention: It has been shown that low levels of folic acid can increase the risk of abnormal cell growth and cancer, and may work to form unstable DNA, which makes it easy to break and increases the risk of cancer.

Low homocysteine ​​levels: Eating a sufficient amount of folic acid reduces the levels of inflammatory homocysteine ​​that develops heart disease, as the body needs folic acid in the process of converting homocysteine ​​into the methionine molecule, which reduces homocysteine ​​levels, but folic acid deficiency slows down the conversion, which increases Homocysteine ​​levels.

Foods Containing Folic Acid

It is preferable to obtain nutrients from natural foods rather than nutritional supplements. The following are some natural foods rich in folic acid:

  • Legumes: 177 grams of cooked kidney beans contain 131 micrograms of folic acid, and 198 grams of cooked lentils contain 358 micrograms.
  • Eggs: A large egg contains 23.5 micrograms of folic acid.
  • Leafy vegetables: 30 grams of spinach contains 58.2 micrograms of folic acid.
  • Broccoli: 91 grams of raw broccoli contains 57 micrograms of folic acid, and 78 grams of cooked broccoli contains 84 micrograms.
  • Bananas: Bananas contain a high percentage of folic acid, with an average banana providing 23.6 micrograms.
  • Avocado: Half a raw avocado contains 82 micrograms of folic acid.

Related :

Zaheer Ahmad

I am Zaheer Ahmad. Currently I am doing P.hd on Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Sorbonne University. Previously, I have also done masters in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology.

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