ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Folate Health Benefits: Folic Acid Deficiency and Vitamin B9 Rich Foods

Updated on March 28, 2015
Defines folate and folic acid. Reviews the health benefits and use of folic acid. Lists folate rich foods and provides a list of folate deficiency symptoms.
Defines folate and folic acid. Reviews the health benefits and use of folic acid. Lists folate rich foods and provides a list of folate deficiency symptoms. | Source

What is Folic Acid? (Folate)

Folic Acid is synthesized folate. Folate is vitamin B9 and it exists naturally in a variety of foods, primarily fruits and green leafy vegetables. It is also found in enriched grains and cereals.

  • Folic Acid is man made.
  • Folate occurs naturally.
  • Vitamin B9 (folate) supports DNA production and aids in the conversion of food to energy.

Why do we need folic acid? (Folate)

Folate is vital for the development and function of cells and tissues. Folate is necessary for new cell growth (rapid cell division). It is especially important during pregnancy as it aids in fetal development. Women usually do not get all the folic acid we need through diet alone. Taking folic acid during pregnancy may aid in preventing spina bifida and anencephaly

Folate maintain our DNA and RNA and can help the body avoid cancer. Folate also plays an important role in metabolism and helps the body maintain amino acid levels.

Also, folate works in-conjunction with vitamin C and B12 to break down proteins.

Health Benefits of Folic Acid

  • May reduce the risk of colon cancer
  • May reduce the risk of cervical cancer
  • May prevent heart disease
  • May prevent or reduce the risk of stroke
  • May slow memory loss
  • May aid in slowing the effects of Alzheimer's
  • May prevent macular degeneration
  • May improve sleep issues or insomnia
  • May help reduce depression
  • May aid in reducing restless leg syndrome
  • Used in the treatment of vitiligo
  • Used topically to improve gum issues

Do you lack folate? Symptoms of folic acid deficiency

Symptoms Include:

  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Growth Inadequacies
  • Glossitis: Swelling of the tongue
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Weakness and Fatigue
  • Weight Loss

Green leafy vegetables, spinach and broccoli are good sources of folate. Folate is the natural form of folic acid.
Green leafy vegetables, spinach and broccoli are good sources of folate. Folate is the natural form of folic acid. | Source

Food Sources

The following are rich sources of folate:

  • Dark Leafy Vegetables: Spinach
  • Legumes: Especially dried beans and peas
  • Lentils
  • Citrus
  • Fortified Breakfast Cereals
  • Wheat Germ

Moderate Sources Include:

  • Egg
  • Asparagus
  • Enriched Pasta: Macaroni
  • Enriched Rice
  • Enriched Bread
  • Avocado
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Mixed Berries
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Papaya


Disorders and Conditions Requiring more Folate / Folic Acid

  • Alcoholism
  • Anemia
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pregnancy
  • Patients undergoing kidney dialysis
  • Patients with Liver Disease

Side Effects of Too much Folic Acid

  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • rash
  • irritability
  • may cause nerve damage

References

University of Maryland Medical Center

WomensHealth.gov

Office of Dietary Supplements: National Institutes of Health

Escott-Stump S, ed. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

Zittoun J. Anemias due to disorder of folate, vitamin B12 and transcobalamin metabolism.

Bialostosky K, Wright JD, Kennedy-Stephenson J, McDowell M, Johnson CL. Dietary intake of macronutrients, micronutrients and other dietary constituents:

Sarubin Fragaakis A, Thomson C. The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association; 2007.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this hub should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. However, all information is research based. Please consult a physician for medical and dietary advice and treatment. Folate or folic acid deficiency should not be assumed or treated without the supervision of a medical professional.

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Ruchira, good for you! Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. Thanks for the votes.

      RealHousewife, now you know. Happy to see you...stay healthy!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Ok I knew folic acid was good for you - but I did not know why. I kept meaning to look that up some day and I am so glad you did:) Thank you! Now I know!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      informative hub, missolive.

      I usually take 1/2 mg folic acid tabs each day 'cause of it's benefits.

      voted up as useful

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      prasetio3o, thanks! Glad you found this to be helpful and informative. I appreciate the votes and it is always a pleasure to spot you on one of my hubs.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very informative hub. I learn many things here. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up! Cheers, Prasetio

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Just Ask Susan, Good for you! Glad to hear you are taking care of your folate needs. Glad to see you.

      sen.sush23, Thank you so much for your wonderful compliment. I appreciate you reading, voting and commenting. Folate is especially important in pregnant women. It is good to know there are programs available for its distribution in India.

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 

      6 years ago from Kolkata, India

      Missolive, this is some information that is very relevant, particularly for the third world country and women. Often, women suffer the most due to lack of folic acid, and so many countries, for example in India, there are programs for distributing folic acid to pregnant women. The different effects of lack of Folic acid on physiology is very informative. Voted up.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      After reading your hub I'm happy to say I shouldn't be deficient at all in folate. Very informative hub!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      RTalloni, thank you. I appreciate your support.

      beingwell, spinach and broccoli is so good for us. Glad to hear you are including it in your diet.

      susiebrown, I love it! Glad to have added to your 'database' :)

      cclitgil, your poor hubby. I do hope he gets all of his dental issues taken care of. I'm sure you will get him all the nutrients he needs.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      Folic acid - so very essential! Thank you for sharing this. It's well-researched and now I know just where to look if I ever need to reference what foods to eat with high amounts of folic acid. I'm also going to make sure my hubby gets more folic acid to help strengthen his gums - with his bad tooth. Haha.

    • susiebrown48 profile image

      susiebrown48 

      6 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      Your article just encompassed a whole bunch of what I didn't know, that I didn't know! Thanks!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 

      6 years ago from Bangkok

      Great hub! I really enjoy spinach and brocs! Good to know I'm loading up daily on my folate.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for important yet concise info on folic acid deficiency and foods.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)