Folic AcidVitaminsVitamins and Supplements

Folic acid and its Importance

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What is folic acid, and why is it so important? These are very good questions and I intend to answer them for you. Folic acid is vitamin B9 or folic acid or folate; these are the water-soluble forms of vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid is essential for the many bodily functions. The human body needs folic acid to synthesize and repair DNA and it is especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth. What exactly does that mean? During pregnancy and infancy when the child is growing quickly folic acid is needed to ensure the proper growth of the child. Not only is it needed for cell division and growth, but also adults and children alike need it to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia.

Where do the names folic and folate come from? They are derived from the Latin word meaning “leaf.” This is because the main source of folic acid is leafy vegetables. But in recent times most diets containing cereals and bread are fortified with folic acid. When we lack folate it is said that we have a folate deficiency, this is uncommon in most Western diets.

Folate or folic acid is of the utmost importance during pregnancy. The lack of folic acid can result in many different health problems, but in the unborn fetus it can cause neural tube defects. Some of the most notable symptoms of a folic acid deficiency are diarrhea, weakness, shortness of breath, nerve damage with weakness and limb numbness, pregnancy complications, mental confusion, forgetfulness, and other mental/cognitive decline. It is possible to also experience depression, sore or swollen tongue, peptic or mouth ulcers, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, and behavioral disorders. Low levels of folic acid can lead to impaired DNA synthesis which can in turn cause cancer to develop.
Folic acid must be replaced everyday due to the fact that it is a water-soluble vitamin and is regularly removed from the body through the urine; this also means that the risk of toxicity from folic acid is very low.

As mentioned before the importance of folic acid during pregnancy is very important to the mother and the unborn embryo. Folic acid protects against neural tube defects. Neural tube defects are severe abnormalities that affect the central nervous system, resulting in defects in the spine, brain, and skull. The risk of neural tube defects is reduced when the mother is consuming a supplemental folic acid along with a healthy diet. Neural tube defects is just one of the problems caused by not having enough folic acid. Cleft lips, congenital heart defects, low infant birth weight and fetal growth retardation can also occur due to deficiency of Folic Acid.

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16 thoughts on “Folic acid and its Importance
  1. Kumar

    It is a very important as you describe here!
    Me, As a father, I know for certain that vitamin B9 is one of the most important for people who suffer from anemia, Like my kids…
    Consumption of this vitamin in one way or another is certainly prevents anemia!

    • Jason

      I’m also a father to a kid that suffer from anemia… And i am definitely want to strengthen your comment here! It is realy one of the most important vitamins !

  2. Robin Ericson

    Thanks!! That’s exactly what I required to know.

  3. Clifford Wilson

    Very true..Pregnant women have higher requirements for Folic Acid and should take Folic Acid supplements as advised by the doctor or dietician.

  4. David C

    Pretty good publish. I just came upon your web page and desired to say that I have really experienced studying your sites.

  5. Tarush

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping for the same quality of work from you in the future as well.

  6. Martha Xilung

    Folic acid plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps your baby’s neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord.

    • Constance

      BION I’m imspdsree! Cool post!

  7. Shahid

    Hi..that is a great blog… it definitely needs to be spread for everyone to take notice!

  8. James Smith

    Thank you so much for this information that cannot be found commonly on the web. I have been looking for in-depth information on folic acid but could not find. This is very useful and informative and gives different perspectives too. Great work! Kudos!

  9. Oliver D.

    Awesome post. Before reading this I hadn’t fully appreciated the importance of getting a significant amount of folic acid into your diet, and I definitely didn’t know that it was such a necessity during pregnancy. I will be sure to give my wife some of this supplement (when the time comes around)!

    Taking a look at some of the symptoms of not receiving enough Folic Acid in your diet has certainly made me feel like it might be something that I want to pursue for myself as well. I have definitely noticed that as of late I am struggling to remember simple things, and I have experienced one or two heart palpitations.

  10. William Brown

    Before reading this post I had no clue how important and useful Follic Acid is. Your blog has been very useful and informative. Keep up the good work fellow. You are like inspiration for a lot of us.

  11. Thomas

    Folic acid is usually prescribed to those who suffer from anemia. I have read through several of the previous comments posted here. I’d like to explain why folic acid is important and what it does. Folic acid works by helping the body to absorb iron, which is found naturally in red meat and some vegtables, such as beans. Iron is essential for life as it allows cells to carry oxygen to the body tissues. People who have anemia have iron-deficient blood, and folic acid helps the body to keep iron in the blood at the right levels.

  12. Jacob

    Thanks for the post! My wife had pregnancy problems in the past. We are having our 2nd child and I was checking out some information from your site on how my wife could have a healthy pregnancy. I think it will be a good decision to buy Bluebonnet Kosher Folic Acid. After reading your blog plus the reviews of this product, this is highly recommended for women who are pregnant and/or trying to conceive. Folic acid is very important for the mother and the baby as it protects them against neural tube effects which may cause abnormalities to the central nervous system of both the mother and the baby. I’m hoping that this supplement will help the baby from being under weight as well.

  13. Alona

    I’m currently a Nursing student at Wheeling Jesuit University and I suddenly came across finding this article. We have a research paper wherein we need to discuss Folic Acid in detail and luckily, I could find this post from Herbs Pro and I could use it as reference to improve my paper. During my internship at the hospital, we encountered a baby with a cleft lip. The attending pediatrician told us that this may be caused by a lack of folic acid during pregnancy and it was fortunate that no other life-threatening conditions were seen. I dream of becoming a nurse counselor after graduating to impart this importance and increase public awareness about health in general.

  14. Monica

    I remember my nephew saying that folic acid is found in hair and I was quite dumbfounded since I do not know how I was going to explain such complex term to him. Now I have an explanation for him! I just have to remember it clearly and scare him – I know, it’s bad and mean to do that to a child – of the health problems he might face if he doesn’t eat his leafy vegetables since he’s a really picky eater when it comes to vegetables. OH and I need it as well since I’m already 2 months pregnant and I would not want any deficiencies for my dear baby. It’ll really break my heart if she will have any deficiencies just because of my negligence.

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