Folic acid, is popularly known by many especially women who have had children as this is a very important vitamin for pregnant women or those who are of childbearing age and is considered to be a “pregnancy hero”.
Folic acid or Folate is a B vitamin and an excellent source of this vitamin can be found in fortified cereals. This very important vitamin is essential in the production of red blood cells and during pregnancy as it aids in the development of the baby’s neural tube, to develop into the brain and spinal cord and is always given in pregnancy during the early stages as deformities can occur as early as three to four weeks.
Doctors have even recommended that women who are sexually active and having unprotected sex should take folic acid daily because pregnancy can occur at anytime or if couples are planning to get pregnant it should be taken at least a month before conceiving along with other prenatal vitamins because not all multivitamins have the same amount of folic acid.
Folic acid is known as vitamin B9. A study done by researchers found that folic acid is a great source for memory, this was concluded from a study conducted on men and women over 50 years old.
During the 1920’s many scientists believed that folate deficiency and anemia were the same condition. Researchers later found out that folate was a nutrient that was needed to prevent anemia during pregnancy, experts first linked folate deficiency to neural tube defects in 1960.
Folic acid is important for our daily diet and there are many food types that can help us to not be deficient, foods such as green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, cereal, pasta, bread, citrus and fruit juices can also be found in supplements.
One of the main deficiency when the body doesn’t have sufficient folic acid is a neural tube defect or other deformities in pregnancy. A lot of babies are born with deformities yearly especially in the United States due to the lack of this vitamin.
A deficiency is basically when the body is in need of a certain vitamin, in a simpler term when dietary consumption is inadequate.
There are a variety of symptoms that can tell if you are folate deficient, such as headaches, sore tongue, weight loss, loss of appetite, behavioral disorders and slow growth in children even though some of the symptoms can be linked to their diseases.
Folic acid is available in various foods and in tablet form, it is also used by the body to manufacture DNA, the intake of folic acid can also decrease the risk of certain cancers like colon, pancreatic, stomach and esophageal, reduces the risk of getting a stroke and heart disease.
Research has proven that folic acid is an essential vitamin for the overall health of the cells in the body.