Tags: folic acid | supplement | health | benefit | cancer

Folic Acid Supplements: A Natural Source of Many Health Benefits

Sunday, 22 December 2013 10:40 PM

Folic acid is a very important vitamin found in cereals, green leafy vegetables like spinach, seasonal fruits, and meat. It is also known as folate and vitamin B9. It is a water-soluble vitamin useful in many biological functions in the body. Our body needs folic acid to synthesize and repair DNA—the most important human genetic material.
The market is flooded with many folic acid supplements, mainly used for anemia due to folic acid deficiency. Folic acid plays a very crucial role in the production of red blood cells.
Most important of all, folic acid supplements benefit middle-aged women for fetal health. They prevent miscarriage and nerve defects in the fetus. Conditions such as cleft palate (palatoschisis) and spina bifida (split spine) can be prevented by folic acid supplements. It is now a common practice worldwide to start folic acid supplements in married women, who plan for the baby and in pregnant ladies during the first trimester. The dosage recommended is 400 micrograms every day. Deficiency in folic acid during pregnancy may cause serious health issues like preterm baby and low birth weight baby.
Folic acid supplements also decrease homocysteine levels, which are a risk for heart disorders and stroke. Patients undergoing angioplasty (a surgery to open blocked arteries) are also prescribed these supplements. This is mainly to avoid rapid reblockage of vessels. Folic acid supplements are considered a boon for cardiac health.
Many supplements are marketed for mental health, boosting memory power, and for their beneficial effects in Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and depression. Researches have proven that people with folic acid deficiency are more at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. They are prescribed supplements having folic acid and some herbal nervine tonic as the main ingredients. People taking conventional antidepressant medicines get more benefits from folic acid supplements.

Many degenerative health disorders like osteoarthritis, age-related macular degeneration, etc., also benefit by these supplements. Folic acid supplements take care of restless leg syndrome, depression, and vitiligo as well. In kidney disorders, where the homocysteine levels get raised, folic acid supplements benefit a lot.

Folic acid supplements also help in cancer prevention. These supplements are advised for cancer patients, mainly those with breast and colon cancers. People consuming high doses of folic acid supplements or taking sufficient amount of folic acid naturally are at lower risk of colon cancer.
Generally, folic acid supplements are safe but very large dosages may cause some undesirable effects like abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of sleep, nausea, skin rashes, etc. Folic acid and its supplements are also used to reduce the toxicity of some potent medications used in cancer.

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Discussion about the health benefits of folic acid and its supplements has been going on for some time now. Many researches have now proven their benefits for women's disorders, anemia, cancer, and the heart.
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Sunday, 22 December 2013 10:40 PM
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