FOLIC ACID (VITAMIN B9)
Folic acid, also sometimes referred to as folate, is a vitamin from the B group. It is naturally found in food. The compound is primarily used for the prevention and treatment of reduced levels of folate in the blood and its many associated complications including anemia and the incapacity of the bowel to internalize nutrients in a proper way. Folic acid is also used for other common medical situations including alcoholism, liver diseases and ulcerative colitis. Folate is additionally used for kidney dialysis.
How does folic acid help?
• Pregnant women consume folic acid to avoid miscarriages, birth defects and neural tube defects.
• It is also used in the treatment of cervical or colon cancer.
• The compound might also be used for preventing stroke and heart diseases.
• Folate reduces the presence of a compound called homocysteine in the blood. The excessive prevalence of homocysteine might be a major cause for heart diseases.
The uses of folic acid also extend to the treatment of memory deficiencies, Alzheimer’s disease, hearing loss subject to increasing age, macular degeneration of the eyes and problems concerning sleep. Doctors also suggest the usage of folic acid on gums for treating infections in the area. The compound is generally utilized in conjunction with other vitamins of the B group.
Folic acid is essential for the proper growth of the human body. It helps in the production of DNA, the genetic constituent.
Good sources of folic acid
Some of the best sources of folic acid include Brussels sprouts, spinach, liver, peas, fortified breakfast cereals, broccoli, asparagus, and chickpeas.
Adults need about 0.2 gm of folic acid each day. Subject to the fact that the compound can’t be stored in the body, the body needs a constant supply of the compound. A regular and well-balanced diet should be able to meet the necessity of folic acid in the body. Women who are pregnant or are planning to have a baby should regularly consume folic acid supplements so that associated problems could be avoided.
However, an excess intake of folic acid might lead to a disguise of the deficiency of Vitamin B12. This might be rather harmful to aged people as people of advancing age tend to find it a little more difficult to maintain the levels of Vitamin B12 in their bodies.