Folic acid is actually a synthetic, water-soluble vitamin that is mostly used in supplements and fortified foods made for commercial uses.
It is actually a version of folate that is produced in laboratories by man, Folate is although naturally occurring B vitamin found in many foods but our body is not compatible for producing Folate and hence it is necessary to intake via dietary supplements.
Difference Between Folate And Folic Acid
Although folate and folic acid are generally considered to be different sides of a same coin but they are actually different in their chemical composition and are actually found in different food products.
How Can We Obtain Folic Acid
Folic acid can be obtained by adding to foods like flour, cereals and breads and it is also available in dietary supplements as well in the form of conc. Solution or syrup form as well as there are tablets that are used to fill in the requirements of Folic Acid.
Benefits That Are Obtained
- It helps with Synthesis of DNA.
- It helps with repair of DNA.
- It helps with methylation.
- It is helpful in protein synthesis.
- Maturation of RBCs.
- It is involved in a number of Metabolic processes.
Effects Of Deficiency
As we now know that Folic Acid is very necessary for the proper functioning of a lot of our body functions and hence the deficiency can surely cause a lot of complications and now we are going to discuss those complications.
- The deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia.
- The person is at a high risk of heart diseases.
- He can fall prey to certain cancers.
- Abnormal birth can also be caused due to the deficiency.
- Lack of power and strength.
- Sexual impotency in males.
- Pregnancy complications can be caused in females.
Now the questions arises that what are the reasons that can cause such deficiency of Folic acid and hence cause a lot of health complications.
- Unhealthy and Unbalanced Diet.
- Certain digestive system diseases.
- Gastric bypass.
- Side effects of drugs that can hamper folic acid absorption
- Being Alcoholic
- Hemolytic anemia
Folate stores in the body range between 10–30 mg, most of which is stored in your liver, while the remaining amount is stored in blood and tissues. Normal blood levels of folate range from 5–15 ng/mL. The main form of folate in the blood is called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate
Synthetic folic acid is thought to have 100% absorbability when consumed on an empty stomach, while folic acid found in fortified foods is thought to have only 85% absorbability. Naturally occurring folate has a much lower absorbability of around 50%.
Precautionary Measures To Take
1- Always use it according to the prescription of your Doctor.
2- Don’t consume Alcohol while you are on folic acid.
3- Always look out for interactions that can be caused.
4- Follow doctor’s instructions at all costs.