Importance of Folic Acid & Benefits You Get From It

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importance of folic acid

Folic acid, a water-soluble vitamin is present naturally in certain foods, supplemented with others, and taken as a supplement. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a group of naturally occurring compounds including tetrahydrofolic acid and 5-methyl-tetrahydro folic acid. The importance of folic acid cannot be overlooked. Folate and folic acid are vitamin B9 variants that help treat deficiency and avoid pregnancy problems. The importance of folic acid in pregnancy is essential as getting adequate folic acid earlier and throughout pregnancy may help protect the baby’s brain and spine from significant birth abnormalities. Apart from that, folic acid is also important for men.

Moreover, it involves treating various other disorders, including anxiety, strokes, memory loss, and cognitive decline. For example, the folic acid function in the body is the production of new and healthy red blood cells. The oxygen-carrying red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body. Anaemia may occur if the body can not produce enough, resulting in weariness, weakness, and a pale complexion. Moreover, a person may get folate deficiency anaemia if they don’t get enough folate in their diet.

Additionally, the importance of folic acid involves cell division and is necessary for producing and repairing DNA and certain other genetic material.

Why Is Folic Acid Important?

Supplements include both folic acid and folate. Although these two nutrients cure the same ailments, the body metabolizes them differently and has distinct effects on health.

1. Treating folate deficiency

Folate deficiency may occur for a variety of causes. Here are some probable reasons for folate deficiency:

  • Lack of folate in your food
  • Illnesses or procedures that influence how your body processes folate, such as celiac disease, 
  • Medications that alter folate absorption
  • Alcohol
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Dialysis
  • Pregnancy

The importance of folic acid is that it may help prevent certain health conditions. Further, insufficient folate in the diet might lead to problems. Anaemia, prenatal development difficulties, mental disability, poor immunological function, and depression, to name a few.

2. Folic acid for erectile dysfunction

According to a recent comprehensive study, folic acid deficiency may lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Vitamin B9, commonly known as folate, may have a role in ED. Many people with ED experience folate deficiency. Hence, supplementing with folic acid, a synthetic version of folate, work as ED medicines to treat ED. In a trial of 100 patients conducted in 2020. Therefore, folic acid and erections have a relation. 

importance of folic acid in pregnancy

3. Preventing birth abnormalities and problems during pregnancy

Supplementing with folic acid may assist in avoiding neural tube abnormalities like spina bifida and anencephaly. Further, getting adequate folic acid while pregnant may lower your baby’s chances of being born with these diseases. So the importance of folic acid in pregnancy is to keep your baby healthy.

Supplementing with folic acid not only helps to avoid foetal development problems but also helps to reduce the chance of pregnancy disorders like preeclampsia. 

4. Keeping your brain healthy

Decreased blood folate levels are related to impaired mental function and a higher risk of dementia. Even low amounts of folate, which are technically acceptable, may contribute to the risk of mental disability in older persons.

Folate deficiency may potentially contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, the importance of folic acid is to keep your brain healthy.

5. Treatment of mental illnesses

Folate involves the creation of neurotransmitters, which are substances found in the brain. Further, a lack of folate in the diet leads to schizophrenia, depression, and other mental illnesses.

People suffering from depression, for instance, may have decreased folate levels in their blood than those not depressed. 

Further, according to recent research, the importance of folic acid and folate supplementation may help minimize symptoms of psychological problems such as postnatal depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Supplementing with folate and antidepressant medication may help alleviate depression more effectively than consuming antidepressant medicines.

6. Diabetes

Folic acid supplements may help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance. If your folate levels have dropped, the importance of folic acid is that it is an excellent supplement since the diabetic medication metformin may drop them.

7. Inflammation

Inflammation leads to a variety of disorders. C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation, reduces by folic acid and folate supplementation.

Food For Folic Acid

1. Whole Grains

Whole grains are an excellent source of folic acid, a nutrient essential for the proper development of the neural tube. So the best way to get the importance of folic acid from whole grains is to choose products made with 100% whole grain flour. Further, some products are only partially whole grain, so check the label. 

2. Green Leafy vegetables

High folate levels are present in a variety of dark, leafy greens. Spinach delivers 58mcg in a 1-cup portion of raw greens and 131mcg in a half-cup dose of cooked leaves, making it a nutritious powerhouse.

folic acid function in the body

3. Lentils

Legumes, including peas, beans, and lentils, are high in magnesium, fiber, iron, antioxidants, and plant protein. Further, they’re also rich in folate. However, the levels vary according to the kind.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli, like other veggies, is plentiful in vitamins and minerals like zinc.  Raw broccoli contains 57 mcg of folate in a 1-cup dose. Further, cooked broccoli has a greater folate level, with a half-cup portion delivering 84 mcg. Hence, if you know the importance of folic acid, include broccoli. 

5. Bananas

Bananas are fruits that are high in folate. For instance, a medium-sized banana’s folate content is roughly 23.6 micrograms. Further, it is also abundant in potassium.

6. Eggs

The folate content of eggs, a breakfast favorite, is 22 micrograms. Although eggs are high in cholesterol, they are nutrient-dense and an excellent way to get more protein into your diet.

7. Citru Fruits

Citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, are another method to get the necessary daily intake of folate. For example, one big orange provides 55 mcg of folate.

8. Asparagus

Asparagus contains some of the most fantastic folate content of any vegetable. Further, asparagus spears contain 89 micrograms of folate.

Final Say

So these were the importance of folic acid and the consequences of low folic acid levels. Hence, plan your diet and add sources of folic acid.

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