Folic Acid: Benefits and Disadvantages Of It.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is a nutrient that participates in various functions in the body, such as:
Maintain brain health, preventing problems such as depression.
Participate in the formation of the nervous system of the fetus during pregnancy.
Strengthen the immune system.
Prevent anemia, by stimulating the formation of blood cells.
Prevent colon cancer by preventing changes in the cells’ DNA.
Prevent heart disease and stroke by reducing homocysteine and maintaining blood vessel health.
Control the evolution of vitiligo.
What Folic Acid Is and Is For
To prevent malformations in the fetus such as spina bifida, women planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant should take supplements in folic acid capsules according to medical advice.
Foods rich in folic acid
The following table shows foods rich in folic acid and the amount of this vitamin in 100g of each food.
In addition to these foods, wheat flour marketed in Brazil is fortified with folic acid, and therefore products such as bread, biscuit, and pasta are also sources of this nutrient.
The recommended amount of folic acid per day varies by age, as shown in the following table:
Folic acid supplementation should always be done under medical guidance and is usually recommended in cases of vitamin A deficiency, anemia, or for pregnant women.
Side effects and contraindications of drug supplementation
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and therefore its excess is easily eliminated through the urine. However, the use of folic acid supplements without medical guidance can cause problems like stomach pain, nausea, itchy skin and anemia.
The maximum amount of this vitamin per day is 5000 mcg, an amount that is usually not exceeded with a balanced diet.
In addition, in cases of use of medicines for seizures and rheumatism, the folic acid supplement should only be consumed according to medical advice.
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