The Function Of Folic Acid
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 is one of the fundamental vitamins required daily. Folic acid, an essential vitamin, is crucial in forming deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and other genetic material. The vitamin also plays a significant role in making new and healthy red blood cells. Most importantly, this vitamin is vital during prenatal growth and development.
The recommended dosage
While many guidelines suggest that women of reproductive age should consume 400mcg of folic acid daily to create new cells, consult with a fertility specialist before starting any new regimen. The dose could be considerably higher for pregnant women or those thinking of getting pregnant. Generally, physicians recommend increasing vitamin B9 about 3 months before becoming pregnant.
The essence of folic acid for pregnancy
The role of folic acid during pregnancy is vital and prevents the likelihood of many abnormalities. One of the main reasons to consume folic acid supplements is to prevent neural tube defects. However, a study elaborated on other benefits of folic acid supplements. The research concluded that vitamin B9 is beneficial in preventing other conditions such as anemia and preterm birth. Additionally, the essential vitamin helps prevent other defects such as congenital heart disease and oral clefts.
Other possible benefits
Besides the above mentioned advantages of folic acid, multiple studies have shown the benefits of folate in other medical conditions. Studies have demonstrated that folic acid is useful in decreasing the risks of cancer, depression, and an autism spectrum disorder. Vitamin B9 with other B-vitamins together helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke conditions. Neurological conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease require more research.
Food rich in folic acid
Besides taking the recommended folic acid supplements, having a healthy diet with enough folate nutrition is helpful. Foods rich in folic acid include green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans. The vitamin is also found in bread, cereal, flour, grains, rice, and pasta.
The downsides of vitamin B9
Taking the recommended dose of any vitamin is essential. Too much or too little of any vitamin supplement can be detrimental. Another downside is that folic acid interacts with other medications such as anti-seizure drugs and antimetabolites. Therefore, taking the recommended dosage is vital, and consulting with the healthcare professional before starting a new supplement is advisable.