Healthy Foods and Vitamins

What is the Benefit of Folic Acid

Folic acid

Folic acid is one of the types of B vitamins, and it can be called vitamin B9. Folic acid can also be in the form of folate, and it performs many important functions for the human body.

It is involved in the manufacture of nucleic acids in The human body, in addition to the production of red blood cells, and many other important functions of the human body.

What is the benefit of folic acid

Benefits of folic acid

Folic acid plays an important role in the human body, and its benefits include:

Reducing homocysteine ​​levels in the body: It has been observed in some studies that people consuming folic acid reduces homocysteine ​​levels in the blood by a rate ranging between 20-30%.

As high homocysteine ​​in the blood increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, therefore people with homocysteine ​​levels higher than 11 micromole/L are advised to continue taking folic acid in addition to vitamin B12. It is worth noting that 85% of people with People with kidney disease have high amounts of homocysteine.

Reducing the damage caused by methotrexate: Taking methotrexate may cause nausea and vomiting, and folic acid may help reduce the side effects of this drug.

Reducing the risk of giving birth to children with birth defects: Taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy reduces the risk of giving birth to a child suffering from neural tube defects.

Reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration: It has been observed in some studies that taking folic acid in addition to vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 reduces the risk of loss of vision resulting from age-related macular degeneration (in English: age-related vision loss).

Lowering blood pressure: Studies indicate that taking folic acid daily for six weeks helps lower blood pressure in people who suffer from high blood pressure. However, no additional effect of folic acid in lowering blood pressure was observed when taken with blood pressure-lowering medications.

Avoid gum problems: Studies indicate that applying folic acid to the gums reduces the risk of gum problems resulting from the drug Phenytoin, and it may also reduce gum problems during pregnancy.

Improving the symptoms of vitiligo: It has been noted that taking folic acid supplements helps improve the symptoms of vitiligo , which causes the disappearance of the natural color of the skin.

Sources of Folic Acid

Folic acid can be obtained from natural sources, or from nutritional supplements, and from its sources:

Natural Sources: Rich Sources of Folate:

  • Leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.
  • Beans, lentils, and peas.
  • Fruits such as cantaloupe, lemon, and banana.
  • Foods fortified with folic acid, such as cereals, breads, and juices.

Nutritional Supplements: Folic acid nutritional supplements can be in the form of pills, capsules, or may be available with multivitamin pills. It should be noted that absorption of folic acid is better when it is taken with vitamin C and a group of B vitamins.

Side Effects of Folic Acid Use

Taking folic acid may cause an allergy in some people, and the symptoms of this allergy are difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling in the throat, lips, face, or tongue.

People who exhibit these symptoms are advised to consult a doctor directly. As for the symptoms The least dangerous can be mentioned as follows:

  • Nausea, lack of appetite.
  • Gas, bloating.
  • Bitter taste in the mouth.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Depression .

Warnings of using folic acid

Some people may suffer from certain conditions in which folic acid consumption is unsafe, and some tests must be conducted to determine the safe dose for these people, including:

  • Kidney disease.
  • Hemolytic anemia.
  • Pernicious anemia.

Folic Acid Drug Interactions

Fosphenytoin: Taking folic acid with the drug fosphenytoin may increase the speed at which the drug is broken down in the body, which may reduce its effectiveness. It is worth noting that fosphenytoin is a drug used to prevent epileptic seizures .

Methotrexate: Taking folic acid with the drug methotrexate may reduce its effectiveness in the body.

Phenobarbital: Taking the drug phenobarbital reduces its effectiveness in preventing epileptic seizures.

Pyrimethamine: Taking pyrimethamine with folic acid may reduce its effectiveness in treating parasite infections.

 

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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