Thursday, 28 January 2016

Folic Acid - All that's to know...

#AllAboutHealth  #FolicAcid

I am not sure about you but I have been hearing about Folic acid all my life. The first time I heard was when a doctor said 'to avoid blisters in mouth she should take Folic Acid'. I don't even remember how old I was back then but given I was seriously troubled with this issue the two words stuck with me.

Folic acid doesn't just benefit in mouth blister (aka ulcers or मुँह के छाले ) but also in a lot of other ways. I don't want to go into gory details of what Folic acid is but for people who are really interested, "Folic acid or folate is a B vitamin. It is also referred to as vitamin M, vitamin B9, vitamin Bc (or folacin), pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, and pteroyl-L-glutamate ~ Source Wikipedia."

The key benefits of Folic acid are:

  • It help promote health of heart as Folic acid helps keep an amino acid called homocysteine in check. This amino acid, if way above the normal levels, can result in severe heart conditions
  • Helps avoid Alzeimer's. As for the same reason for heart's health, high levels of homocysteine can cause dementia and Alzeimer's as well. And given Folic acid keep it in check, we are good to go
  • Helps reduce depression because it has a big role to play in mood regulation. And we all know, if the mood is off and things go South a person can land up in depression
  • It helps prevent cancer. Folic acid has a major property of making and repairing DNA in new cells. If Folic acid is low in body, it may affect how it manages cells which may lead to cancer
  • Helps prevent diabetes - Folic acid helps breakdown triglycerides, a fat used for energy. The enhanced break down of this fat helps prevent type - 2 diabetes risk
  • Health of mouth and gum protection: Given it is rich in folate and B Vitamin it helps prevent mouth infections like ulcers etc.
  • Promotes hair growth and healthy skin: Given it's nature to make and repair cells, it aids in growth of hair and skin problems. Deficiency of Folic acid can lead to severe hair fall, premature greying or bad skin conditions

Above are very important benefits that we should take note of but above all these there is one more benefit for folic acid. Folic acid is a "must have" vitamin for mother's to be. It helps with development of neural system of the baby and it should not be taken lightly. For more information of Folic acid & pregnancy, please read my detailed post here.

How to take Folic Acid?

PC -
Ideal amount of folic acid is 400 micrograms a day. Folic acid is available in a lot of natural food sources. A few examples are lentils, beans, green leafy vegetables like spinach, citrus fruits like oranges, corn, carrots etc. If your diet is rich in above mentioned foods and you have healthy and continuous intake of them then there should be no need to take supplements. However, if you are like me, way too picky and choosy on foods you eat, then you can discuss with your doctor to get a supplement. Pregnant women should definitely have a discussion with their doctors for the same - despite what their diet is

Overdose of Folic Acid?

Ideally avoid doing overdose of it, or maybe don't overdose on anything. However, if you face any issues, you should immediately contact your doctor and seek professional health. 
Having said that, the first tell tale sign of overdose of Folic acid is your stool starts to turn black (it is not a sign if you are on iron supplement as well). Black colour signifies that there is certain amount of folic acid that is not being absorbed in your body - hence overdose. 

I guess I have mostly covered everything we need to know about this super-effective vitamin. So hey, what are waiting for - analyse yourself and see if your body needs Folic acid. Yes? Hey - tring - tring, call your doctor.

Hope this helps.

Love and Cheers

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