Why Everyone Should Take Folic Acid.
Mention the words "Folic Acid" and most people immediately assume you are talking about women who are either trying to get pregnant or are pregnant already. Naturally it is important that women in this situation do ensure they take Folic Acid on a daily basis in order to avoid their baby being born with any serious neural tube defects (a birth defect involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord). The most common neural tube defects are spina bifida (an incomplete closure of the spinal cord and spinal column), anencephaly (severe underdevelopment of the brain), and encephalocele (when brain tissue protrudes out to the skin from an abnormal opening in the skull). All of these defects occur during the first 28 days of pregnancy — frequently before a woman even knows she's pregnant.
What many people don't consider is that Folic Acid, also known as (Folate, Pteroylglutamic Acid, or Folacin,) is actually very beneficial to both men and women in their normal day to day dietary intake. I want to explain in this article why Folic Acid is such an important supplement to your diet, as well as suggesting great natural sources of this B vitamin (B9)
Health Benefits of Folic Acid
There are an extensive level of health benefits to both sexes from taking Folic Acid, either in tablet form or by ensuring you eat the foods naturally high in Folic Acid. To illustrate many of the health advantages I compiled the following list:
Folic Acid helps to inhibit colon Cancer.
Folic Acid is important for cell maintenance and repair, synthesis of DNA, amino acid metabolism and formation of red and white blood cells.
Folic Acid helps prevent heart disease.
In addition to high cholesterol levels, an equally important risk indicator of heart disease is increased homocysteine, an abnormal protein by product. One of the benefits of taking Folic acid and other B Vitamins is that they help remove homocysteine from the blood. Too much homocysteine can cause serious artery damage.
Folic Acid is essential for the synthesis and repair of DNA.
Folic acid may also help other conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, arthrosclerosis, and diarrhoea. It can also be helpful in treating epilepsy gingivitis, gout, and cancer.
It is now accepted that Folic Acid may help counter and combat Alzheimer’s disease.
Folic Acid supplements have a growing body of medical evidence to prove they nourish the brain and can genuinely help bipolar people.
Folic Acid in humans is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids and the formation of heme, (the pigmented, iron-carrying component of the hemoglobin in red blood cells). A deficient intake of folic acid can impair the maturation of young red blood cells, resulting in folic-acid-deficiency anemia.
Folic Acid may help prevent strokes, and blood clots. There may also be some folic acid benefits for methotrexate toxicity.
Folic acid helps protect chromosomes, is necessary for the utilization of sugar and amino acids, promotes healthier skin and helps protect against intestinal parasites and food poisoning.
Natural Sources of Folic Acid
Even without taking Folic Acid in a tablet form, you can ensure a high level of it is contained within your day to day diet. Folic Acid can be found in the following foods:
Liver (avoid if pregnant)
Green Leafy Vegetables
Tinned Baked Beans
Plus many many more foods we consume in our day to day diets.
Other Relevant Facts to Consider.
Folic acid should be taken with Vitamin-B12 to prevent the folic acid from masking a B12 deficiency.
Men who take Folic Acid may have an increased risk of prostate cancer, though this matter needs more study.
Folic acid can have some serious side effects if too much is taken every day. Dangerous levels of consumption are between 5,000 to 10,000 mcg.
People with anemia should not take more than 400 mcg of folic acid per day unless pernicious amenia is first ruled out by your doctor.
It has been suggested that Folic Acid should not be consumed as a sole supplement and should ideally be taken as part of a more comprehensive formula where not only B12 are used, but other important vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids.
Folic acid, when taken after fertility treatment (invitro fertilization) may raise the odds of producing twins.
Severe allergic reactions are occasionally possible. Some signs of severe allergic reactions include rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, and breathing difficulties. If you notice anything that is unusual for you, seek medical attention right away.
Many vitamins are best consumed through food sources; however, Folic Acid is not one of these nutrients. Folic Acid is easily destroyed and the nutrient value is lessened by cooking or storage. In addition to this, the human body doesn’t store Folic Acid for very long. For this reason we need to take this nutrient daily to keep sufficient levels in our systems. Because of this, many experts suggest that Folic Acid supplements should be incorporated into our diet, especially for those people who need more of this nutrient.