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Folic Acid

 

Folic acid is needed for the proper development of the human body. It is involved in producing the genetic material called DNA and in numerous other bodily functions.  Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer.

  • Synthesize DNA, RNA and to repair

  • Aiding rapid cell division and growth

  • To produce healthy red blood cells


The signs and symptoms of folic acid deficiency disease include:

  • Fatigue, tiredness

  • Feeling generally weak

  • Forgetfulness

  • Being irritable, easy irritated

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss


Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folate, as well as its complications, including anemia and the inability of the bowel to absorb nutrients properly. Folic acid is also used for other conditions commonly associated with folate deficiency, including ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, and kidney dialysis. Folic acid is a form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Folic acid is a key factor in the making  nucleic acid, nucleic acid is one of a family of large molecules including DNA and RNA.


It is important for pregnant women to have enough folic acid to prevent major birth defects of her baby's brain or spine. Enhances brain health. Dutch researchers reported that folic acid supplementation may improve memory.
The human body does not store folic acid, we have to consume it every day in order to make sure we have adequate amounts. Dark green vegetables are good sources of folic acid. Be careful not to overcook, as the folic acid content can drop considerably.

The following foods are known to be rich in folic acid:

  • Spinach leaves

  • Spinach is rich in folic acid

  • Asparagus

  • Baker's yeast

  • Broccoli

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Egg yolk

  • Jacket potato (large)

  • Kidney

  • Lentils

  • Lettuce

  • Liver (pregnant women should not consume liver)

  • Many fruits have moderate amounts, papaya and kiwi have more

  • Milk

  • Oranges

  • Parsnips

  • Peas

  • Spinach

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Wholewheat bread (usually fortified).


Apart from anemia and birth defects, folic acid deficiency can result in:

  • A higher risk of second heart attacks

  • A higher risk of strokes

  • A higher risk of some cancers, such as stomach cancer

  • A considerable drop in male sperm count, male fertility

  • A higher risk of developing clinical depression

  • Possible memory and mental agility problems

  • Perhaps a higher risk of developing allergic diseases

  • A higher long-term risk of lower bone density


 

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