What are the Benefits of Folic Acid? 

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Folic acid is an essential vitamin that the body system needs. It belongs to the B vitamin. And you can get it from foods like lentils, peas, oranges, dried beans, liver, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, Brussel sprouts, beets, whole-wheat products, etc. In this article, I will share with you some of the benefits of folic acid. 

Folic acid is essential during pregnancy. Taking the right dosage of this vitamin before and during pregnancy will prevent brain and spinal cord birth defects. 

When you take folic acid regularly, it helps produce the red blood cell in your body. Additionally, it allows your baby’s neural tube to develop into the brain and spinal cord without defects. 

Read Also: 5 Simple Lifestyle to Help You Prevent Cancer 

The Benefits of Folic Acid 

Folic acid has several benefits; here are some of them; 

 

  • Folic acid helps your body to produce new cells and maintain existing ones. When you take the right dosage, it will help prevent DNA changes that could trigger the growth of cancer cells. 

 

  • You can also use Folic Acid to treat deficiency and anemia (red blood cell deficiency) caused by folic acid deficiency. 

 

  • Based on your doctor’s advice, you can use folic acid to treat a combination of other conditions like pernicious, aplastic, or normocytic anemia. But it doesn’t treat deficiency of vitamin B12 in the body. Additionally, it doesn’t prevent spinal cord damage, as many people claims. And it’s important to discuss with your doctor before taking folic acid. 

 

Furthermore, when you take the recommended dose of folic acid before and during pregnancy, you can protect your fetus against the following; 

 

  • Premature birth 

 

  • Miscarriage

 

  • Low birth weight 

 

  • Miscarriage

 

  • Cleft lip and palate

 

  • Poor growth in the uterus

 

Again, when you take folic acid, you are less vulnerable to the following conditions; 

 

  • Stroke

 

  • Certain types of cancers

 

  • Alzheimer disease 

 

  • Pregnancy complications 

 

  • Heart disease 

 

Things to Note Before Taking this B Vitamin 

 

Like I mentioned earlier, you should discuss with your health provider before you start using folic acid. However, if you have any of the following conditions, it’s not safe to use it; 

 

  • If you have kidney disease or you are on dialysis, it’s not safe to use folic acid

 

  • Hemolytic anemia

 

  • Pernicious anemia 

 

  • Any anemia that a laboratory test is yet to confirm or without a doctor diagnosis 

 

  • If you drink alcohol a lot 

 

  • If you have an infection. 

 

What are the Possible Side Effects 

 

You know folic acid isn’t a natural vitamin; it’s man-made. And it has a few side effects, which include; 

 

  • The feeling of excitement and irritation 

 

  • Unpleasant or bitter taste in your mouth 

 

  • Inability to sleep 

 

  • Loss of appetite and nausea

 

  • Bloating

 

The list of side effects is long. That’s why it’s essential to talk to your doctor before using folic acid. 

 

What Other Medications Can Affect Folic Acid?

 

If you are on folic acid, you aren’t supposed to take certain medications. So, when your doctor prescribe folic acid, let them know if you are currently using any of the following medications; 

 

  • Raltitrexed 

 

  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)

 

  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexel)

 

  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodatin, Macrobid)

 

  • Pyrimethamine (Daraprim)

 

  • Tetracycline 

 

The list is long, but the key takeaway is to always discuss with your health provider before taking folic acid. And don’t hesitate to let them know if you are currently on any medication. 

What’s the Recommended Dose?

Here are the recommended doses of folic acid; 

 

  • For the women trying to conceive, the recommended dose is 400 mcg

 

  • Take 400 mcg during the first three months of your pregnancy.

 

  • Take 600 mcg between 4 to 9 months of your pregnancy.

 

  • Also, take 500 mcg while breastfeeding.

 

Beatrice Sargin
Beatrice Sargin
Beatrice Sargin is a dancer/choreographer, health and food blogger and a graduate Microbiologist who is passionate about nutrition and holistic wellbeing. She's a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Healthy Eating for Weight loss and a Personal Trainer. With her knowledge in these fields, she intends to improve the health of all those who care about their health by helping them work hand in hand to achieve their dream body, health and lifestyle goals.