Folic acid is another name for vitamin B9, which comes under the vitamin B Complex family. It is also known as folate or folacin.It is a water soluble vitamin.It is found out that Folic acid provides numerous health benefits.
Vegetables like spinach, sprouts, beetroot, dried beans and broccoli contains folic acid. Yeast, enriched grains and orange juice is also considered to be other rich sources of vitamin. But it is seen that the body absorbs folic acid in a better manner when provided in the supplement form.
Folic acid is found essential for many metabolic processes taking place in the body. It also plays a very important role in cell repair mechanisms. Folic acid helps in prevention of birth defects when taken by ladies prior to conceiving. Women are advised to take it 3 months before they start trying for a baby. Folic acid is found to prevent neural tube defects in babies like spina bifida. It also prevents heart defects in babies and also prevents premature births.
Folic acid is found to decrease the homocysteine level in the body. Too much homocysteine in the blood is found to cause artery damage. Thus folic acid prevents the occurrence of atherosclerosis.It also lowers the cholesterol level and prevents the incidence of heart diseases and stroke.
Folic acid also helps in cancer prevention. It reduces the risk of risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Folic acid also plays an important part in the formation of heme, which is the iron carrying pigment in hemoglobin. Deficiency of folic acids thus leads to the condition of anemia.
Folic acid is necessary in maintaining good neural health. It helps to combat diseases like Alzheimer’s. It also helps in reducing the incidence of other diseases like cleft lip.
Some amount of folic acid is synthesized by bacteria in the human intestines. Cooking is found to destroy certain properties of folic acid and thus it is necessary to include raw fruits and vegetables in our diet. Sometimes allergies like swelling and dizziness can occur due to over consumption of folic acid consumption.All these conditions should be brought under immediate medical attention.Pregnant ladies and breast feeding mothers should also take medical advice before consuming folic acid.
Folic acid should be included in our daily diet or should be taken as supplement so as to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.