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Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid benefits typically work best in the areas of cardiovascular health, pregnancy and birth defects, cell development and hemoglobin formation.
Folic Acid, also known as Vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in facilitating numerous body processes. Major functions of folic acid in the human body include cell maintenance and repair, nucleic acid and DNA synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and red and white blood cell formation.
The following are important dietary sources of folic acid:
- brewer's yeast
- brown rice
- green leafy vegetables
- meat liver
- meat kidney
While the above foods are rich in folic acid, many studies have revealed that the vitamin is actually better absorbed by the body in supplement form. These are in the form of tablets, capsules, and caplets.
Folic acid has no known toxic level. Humans all need folic acid supplements. People over the age of 55 and those who consume large amounts of alcohol are advised to take even more folic acid supplements.
Folic acid is said to be very essential in the efficient development of the neural tube during pregnancy. The neural tube forms the brain and spinal cord in babies. Women who lack folic acid are said to be more likely to give birth prematurely or to deliver babies with low birth weight or with neural tube defects. The risk of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, and certain congenital heart ailments, are also said to be higher in women with folic acid deficiency. As such, women are advised to take folic acid prior to conception and to continue taking folic acid supplements until the 12th week of pregnancy.
Nevertheless, it is recommended that women consume no more than 1,000 micrograms of synthetic folic acid a day. Large amounts of folic acid may hide the ability to quickly diagnose a rare vitamin B-12 deficiency, pernicious anemia.
The following are the folic acid benefits that may be derived from this vitamin:
Folic acid may help ward off cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes. It helps in controlling the deposit of cholesterol in the heart, as well as facilitates the removal of the homocysteine amino acid that contributes to the onset of the said deadly diseases.
Folic acid may help in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, such as the lungs, the colon and the cervix.
Folic acid may help reduce the chances of pregnancy and birth defects.
Folic acid may help contribute to the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Folic acid may help in the replacement of old cells with new ones.
Folic acid may help in the formation of muscle tissues.
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