Do You Know about Folic Acid: Its, Benefits & Deficiency

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z

Folic acid is also known as folate, it is the generic term for both naturally occurring food, folate the fully oxidized monoglutamate form of the vitamin which is used in dietary supplements and fortified foods. It’s a vitamin that’s important for cell growth and metabolism.


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What is Folic Acid?


Folic acid is a form of B vitamin called folate. It plays an important role in the creation of red blood cells and it helps your baby’s neural tube development into her brain and spinal cord. Some best food sources of folate are fortified cereals. It is found naturally in green vegetables and citrus fruits.


Why do People Take Folic Acid?


These supplements are set for pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant. Folate reduces the risk of birth defects of a baby’s brain and spine. It also lowers the risk of preeclampsia and early labor. Most of the doctors recommend that any woman of childbearing age take either a multivitamin or a folate supplement. Folate can protect against birth defects that may form before a woman knows she is pregnant.


Folate is used to treat deficiencies, which can cause certain types of anemia and other problems. Its deficiencies are more common in people who have digestive problems, kidney or liver disease, or who abuse alcohol. Folate is also used to reduce the toxicity of the drug methotrexate in psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis patients.


How much Folic Acid Should Take?


It depends according to the age factor:


1. 0-6 months- 65 micrograms

2.7-12 – 80 grams

3.1-3 – 150 grams

4. 4-8 – 200 grams

5. 9-13 – 300 grams

6. 14 years and + – 400 grams

7.Pregnant women – 600 grams

8. Breastfeeding women- 500 grams


Can you get Folate from Natural Food?


You can get this substance by the following foods:


  • Leafy green vegetables like- spinach, broccoli, and lettuce


  • Beans and peas


  • Fruits like- lemons, bananas, and melons


  • Enriched products like- Bread, juices, and cereals


What are the Benefits of Folic Acid?


There are the following benefits of this substance:


1. Folic Acid for Pregnancy:


Intake of folate in pregnancy prevents your baby from serious neural tube defects but it also protects your baby. This is widely used to prevent any birth defects, it also enhances the fetus development, and increase the chances of conceiving.


2. Depression


Folate is used to cure depression and increase mood regulation. A sufficient folate level is necessary for proper brain functioning.


3. Digestion


Folate works with vitamin B12 and vitamin C to help the body utilize and digest proteins.


4. Acne


Folate helps in eliminating toxins from the body, it can reduce acne on the face.


5. Hair growth


Folate plays an important role in hair growth. It revives the cells that aid the growth of hair


6. Heart disease


Folic acid, along with vitamin B12, it helps the heart in many ways. They reduce blood clotting; blood clots lead to cardiovascular disease. It helps reduce the chances of heart attacks.


7. Cancer


Folate can prevent cancer cells. It can be protected from colon cancer by consuming folate supplements.


10. Glow


The regular intake of folate can give one’s skin a natural, healthy, and moisturized glow.


12. Male Fertility


Folate is very important for men. It helps in conception and the sperm counts and motility.


What is the Risk Factor of Folic Acid Intake?


1. Side Effects- Folic acid is generally regarded as safe. Side effects are rare. High dose of folate effect nausea, bloating, gas, and insomnia.


2.Interactions. High dose of folate can block the effects of some seizure medicines. If you take any regular medicines, ask how they will affect your intake of folate.


3.Risks. Folic acid supplementation can sometimes mask the symptoms of serious and dangerous deficiencies of vitamin B12.


What is the Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?


Anemia is the condition which happens when you don’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues. The reason could be that you don’t have enough hemoglobin to make red blood cells. A protein in red blood cells which helps to carry oxygen throughout the body.


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What Causes Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?


1. Don’t eat enough foods that contain folate


This is the case for most of the people. It might not be eating enough foods like- leafy green vegetables, beans, citrus fruits, or whole grains.


2. Drink a lot of alcohol


This makes it harder for your intestines to absorb folate.


3. Stomach problems


When your small intestine isn’t working the way it should, your body has a hard time hanging on to as much folate as it needs. For instance, people with celiac disease are at risk for this type of anemia. People with cancer are, as well.


4. Pregnancy


A growing baby absorbs lots of folate from its mother.


5. A medication


In this case with many medicines, such as phenytoin (Dilantin), methotrexate, sulfasalazine, triamterene, pyrimethamine, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and barbiturates.


6. Born with it


Problems absorbing enough folate can run in families. Infants with this problem need treatment right away to avoid long-term problems.


Symptoms of Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia


There are 10 symptoms :


1. Fatigue

2. Pale skin

3. Lack of energy

4. A headache

5. Weight loss

6. Muscle weakness

7. Breathiness

8. Depression

9. Lack of taste

10. Diahrrea


What are the types of Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?


  • Most cases of this type of anemia are easily treated. Severe effects are rare. But if you’ve been without folate for a long time, your risk of having some types of cancer and heart disease goes up. You might also find it harder to get pregnant. Your fertility will likely back to normal once you’re getting enough folate again.


  •  If you are pregnant and don’t get enough folate, you are at higher risk of placental abruption. It happens when the placenta pulls away from the uterus wall and disrupts blood flow to your fetus. It can cause pain and increase bleeding. Your fetus could die.



  • Your unborn child can also be harmed by too little folate. She may have a low birth weight or be born before her due date. She’s also more likely to have spina bifida, a disease that causes damage to the spinal cord and nerves.


How to Treat Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?


Folate deficiency anemia is preventing and treating by eating a healthy diet. It includes foods rich in folic acids, such as nuts, leafy green vegetables, enriched bread and cereals, and fruit. Your doctor will suggest a daily folate supplement. If your folate levels back to normal, then stop taking it.


  • Treatment of folic acid deficiency involves dietary intake and supplements of folate.


  • Vitamin B complex is the usually prescribed form of folate supplement.


  • For prevention of folate deficiency during pregnancy, alcohol intake should be totally stopped.


  • A proper nutritious diet is recommended to prevent folate deficiency.


  • Consumption of food with high folic acid content is also recommended.




In the above article, we talk about Folic acid its benefits, along with problems occur due to folic acid deficiency anemia its symptoms, risk factor, and treatment. The easy and effective way to cure the deficiency is to include the food that is riched with folic acid, and other healthy substance which are important for pregnant women. If you feel any discomforts so consult a doctor as earlier as you can.


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