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Folic Acid Deficiency Tips

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Deficiency Risk And Symptoms

Dr. Prashant K Vaidya 95% (13783 ratings)
Diploma In Gastroenterology, Diploma In Dermatology, BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Deficiency Risk And Symptoms

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) - Deficiency Risk and Symptoms

An adequate intake of Vitamin B9 is important as it helps the body as a to utilise amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. It helps the body form blood cells in bone marrow and ensures rapid cell growth in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy. Vitamin B9 plays a crucial role in producing nucleic acids (e.g., DNA), the body's genetic material.

Together with Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 it also helps control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine which is associated with certain chronic conditions such as heart disease.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirms that clear health benefits have been established for the dietary intake of folic acid (vitamin B9) in contributing to:

  • normal blood formation
  • normal homocysteine levels (high levels of homocysteine are related to the early development of heart and blood vessel disease)
  • a normal metabolism of the immune system
  • normal cell division
  • normal maternal tissue growth during pregnancy
  • normal amino acid synthesis
  • normal psychological functions
  • the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

In addition, the EFSA has confirmed that supplemental folate intake increases maternal folate status, which contributes to the reduction of the risk of neural tube defects (NTD).

Food Sources

Folate is found in a wide variety of foods but the richest sources are liver, dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts and spinach), beans and yeast. Other sources include eggs (specifically the yolk), milk and dairy products, beets, orange juice and whole wheat bread.

Folic acid (Vitamin B9) is a water-soluble vitamin and as such, it is unlikely to reach toxic levels. There is little danger of toxicity when it is taken orally. No adverse effects have been associated with the consumption of excess dietary folic acid.

Folic acid cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day. Adults need 200 mcg of folic acid a day. However, if you are pregnant, thinking of trying to have a baby or likely to become pregnant, the NHS recommend that you take a 400 mcg folic acid supplement daily from the time you stop using contraception until the 12th week of pregnancy. This is to help prevent birth defects of the central nervous system, such as spina bifida, in your baby.

Symptoms of deficiency

Severe folate deficiency leads to a condition in which the bone marrow produces oversized immature red blood cells - this is called megaloblastic anemia in pregnant women folic acid deficiency can result in severe or even fatal birth defects such as neural tube defects

5 people found this helpful

Folic Acid & Health

Dr. Sajeev Kumar 89% (28402 ratings)
C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Folic acid (vitamin B9) is a water–soluble B vitamin.
It is lost in traditional Indian cooking.
Folic acid is essential for DNA repair, cell division and normal cellular growth.
Profound deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy is associated with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida in neonates.
Deficiency in adults has been associated with megaloblastic anemia and peripheral neuropathy.
In both men and women, low serum folate levels can increase homocysteine levels, which are correlated with elevated cardiovascular risk.
Low folic acid levels during pregnancy in women with epilepsy have been associated with fetal malformation, and older enzyme–inducing anti-epileptic drugs are known to reduce serum folate levels.
The risk of having a pregnancy complicated by a major congenital malformation (e.g., neural tube defect) is doubled in epileptic women taking anti epileptic drugs compared with those women with a history of epilepsy not taking these agents.
Risk is tripled with anti–epileptic drugs polypharmacy, especially when valproic acid is included.
Consensus statements recommend 0.4–0.8 mg of folic acid per day in all women planning a pregnancy. Ideally, this should be started at least 1 month prior to pregnancy if possible.
The guidelines recommend higher daily folic acid doses (4 mg/day) in women with a history of neural tube defects.
In addition, enzyme–inducing anticonvulsants, such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, primidone and phenobarbital, are known to decrease folate levels, and valproic acid may interfere with folate metabolism.
Other AEDs, such as oxcarbazepine, lamotrigine and zonisamide, do not appear to alter folate levels.
Because many pregnancies are unplanned, it is recommended that folic acid supplementation be given routinely to all women of childbearing potential at 0.4 mg/day.
2 people found this helpful

Folic acid

Dr. Renu Jain 91% (9067 ratings)
DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Faridabad
Folic acid
Use folic acid tab 5 mg if planning to concieve.
45 people found this helpful

No folly in folic acid

MBBS, MS - General Surgery
General Surgeon, Kota
No folly in folic acid

Folic acid should be taken regularly by all pregnant mums and people with a low immunity to disease. Folic acid prevents spina bifida in unborn babies and can play a role in cancer prevention. It is found in green leafy vegetables, liver, fruit and bran.

1 person found this helpful

Folic Acid For Pregnancy

Dr. Nidhi Gandhi Chandak 90% (60 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, Diploma In Reproductive Medicine
Gynaecologist, Nagpur
Folic Acid For Pregnancy

Folic acid should be taken 3 months preconceptionally and should be continues 3 months post conception.

4 people found this helpful

Folic Acid - Know Its Importance!

Dr. Atul Thapar 89% (128 ratings)
MBBS, DA - Anaesthesiology
Sexologist, Delhi
Folic Acid - Know Its Importance!

Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B, which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby’s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in your baby. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy. 
Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.

How much folic acid should be taken?
A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.

400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.

Benefits of folic acid

Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:
1. Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.
2. Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.

Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.
Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:
1. Cleft lip and palate
2. Low weight during birth
3. Chances of miscarriage
4. Premature birth

Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3182 people found this helpful

Should All Women be Taking Folic Acid?

Dr. Prof.(Dr.)Saransh Jain 86% (68 ratings)
D.Sc (Urology), PhD (Pscho Sexual Medicine)U.K., M.D.(Medicine)GOLD MEDALIST, M.B.B.S.
Sexologist, Lucknow
Should All Women be Taking Folic Acid?

Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B, which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby’s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in your baby. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy.
Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.

How much folic acid should be taken?
A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.

400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.

Benefits of folic acid
Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:

1. Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.
2. Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.

Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.
Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:
1. Cleft lip and palate
2. Low weight during birth
3. Chances of miscarriage
4. Premature birth

Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

5095 people found this helpful

Should All Women Be Taking Folic Acid?

Dr. Prof. & Hod Ganesh Shinde 89% (291 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Should All Women Be Taking Folic Acid?

Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby’s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in babies. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.

How much folic acid should be taken?

A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.

400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.

Benefits of Folic Acid

Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:

  • Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.

  • Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.

Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.

Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:

Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.

Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans.

2583 people found this helpful

Should Folic Acid Be Taken During Pregnancy?

Dr. Meera Sethi 90% (199 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Gynaecology & Obstetrics, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Should Folic Acid Be Taken During Pregnancy?

Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby’s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in your baby. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.

How much folic acid should be taken?

A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.

400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.

Benefits of Folic Acid-

Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:

  • Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.

  • Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.

Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.

Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:

Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.

Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4524 people found this helpful

Folic Acid - Know The Requirement

Dr. Gittika Sharma 88% (111 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), Fellowship in IVF
Gynaecologist, Amritsar
Folic Acid - Know The Requirement

Folic acid is an important form of vitamin B which women must take during pregnancy. It is a form of man-made vitamin B known as folate. Folate plays a significant role in producing red blood cells and helps in the development of your baby’s neural tube into the brain and spinal cord, preventing any kind of birth defects in your baby. Birth defects of the brain or spinal cord may occur in early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, by the time a woman discovers her pregnancy, it may become too late to prevent the defects.

How much folic acid should be taken?

A woman should start taking folic acid within the first three to four weeks of pregnancy, as birth defects may occur during this time. Women who start taking folic acid a year before getting pregnant produce healthy babies without birth defects.

400 mcg of folic acid is the recommended dose for all women who are of childbearing age and also in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivitamins with the recommended amount of folate and folic acid supplements are generally prescribed as they help the mother deliver a healthy child. From the fourth to ninth month of pregnancy, the dose must be increased to 600 mcg.

Benefits of Folic Acid-

Without sufficient folic acid in your body, the neural tube of your developing baby may not close properly. This may lead to neural tube defects, which include:

  • Spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord or vertebrae develop incompletely. A baby with spina bifida may be disabled permanently.

  • Anencephaly, a condition that features incomplete development of the brain. Babies affected with anencephaly do not live long.

Having a sufficient supply of folic acid prevents these neural defects from developing in your baby.

Taking folic acid before and during pregnancy protects your baby against many other conditions. They include:

Folic acid also reduces the risk of developing pregnancy complications in the mother such as heart diseases, stroke, several cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.

Folic acid is naturally found in dark-green vegetables, which you must consume in abundance. Other sources of folic acid include fortified breakfast cereals, beef liver, lentils, egg noodles and great northern beans. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

2831 people found this helpful
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