Folic acid is a manmade (synthetic) form of folate also known as folacin and vitamin B9. It works with vitamin B12 and vitamin C to help the body break down, use and create new proteins. Folic acid also aids your body in cell production, maintaining the health of those new cells and helps to prevent changes to DNA that could sometimes lead to cancer.
Benefits of taking folic acid
Having low folate levels may cause deficiencies within some people. Folic acid helps to make red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body, without this, the body may experience symptoms of deficiency amenia. These symptoms include:
- Sores around the mouth
- Feeling weak
- Low appetite
- Weight loss
- Mood swings
- Memory / Cognitive struggles
Not getting enough folic acid into the body can put you at a higher risk of developing depression, allergies, and problems with memory and brain function. It can also put you at long term risk of having low bone density.
Taking folic acid supplements daily will increase the folate levels within the body. Once the levels return to normal the symptoms will reduce and clear.
Why should I take folic acid during pregnancy?
Many will often associate folic acid with helping to ensure a safe pregnancy. This is because it reduces the risk of defects to the baby’s neural tube. Neural Tube Defects (known as NTD’s) come in two forms: open and closed. Open NTD’s are more common and occur when either the brain and/or spinal cord are exposed via a defect in the skull or vertebrae. The less common of the two, closed NTD’s occur when the defect is hidden by skin.
The brain, spine and spinal cord develop within the first month of pregnancy, taking the recommended dosage (0.4mg) of folic acid before conception and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy will help to reduce the risk of NTD’s such as Spina Bifida and Anencephaly.
Folic Acid in diet and supplements
Folic acid is added to fortified foods and is also found in supplements. Great food sources of Folic Acid and folate are asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruit, and beans.
It is water-soluble and trace amounts leave the body during urination which means that your body cannot store it.
Folic acid can be added to capsules, shakes or gummies. If you want to know more get in touch today.