Folic acid is a vitamin that we find in foods routinely consumed such as broccoli, beans and oranges. It is very important for the development of the spinal cord of the fetus during pregnancy and helps in the better production of blood cells.
- What is Folic Acid ?
- Foods that have
- Alternative Forms of Consumption
- Folic Acid in Pregnancy
What is Folic Acid?
Folic acid or as it is scientifically known as folacin, pteroil-L-glutamic acid and popularly as Vitamin B9 is an important vitamin of the B complex, responsible for the formation of structural proteins and responsible for the better production of blood cells. When used together with other B vitamins such as Vitamin B and C, its absorption in the body is more efficient. Its beneficial action is reduced with the use of substances such as caffeine, nicotine, antacids, laxatives and contraceptives and antibiotics. In the absence of this vitamin in the body, hypovitaminosis may occur with the following symptoms:
- Strong Headaches
- Memory loss
- Growth disorders
- Digestive disorders
Excessive hypervitaminosis can occur, presenting opposite symptoms such as excitement, hyperactivity and euphoria. In order to present these symptoms, the folic acid levels must be well above the normal range.
Foods that have
Usually we consume foods that have folic acid and we don’t even know, some of them are on our daily menu, such as beans and pasta . The recommended intake of food for healthy adults is 400 mcg per day and in the case of pregnant women 600 mcg to assist in the better development of the fetus. Folic acid is an essential vitamin for everyone and the lack of this substance in the body can cause serious damage to health. That is why daily consumption of the vitamin is recommended for the control of a healthy life. We find folic acid in the following foods:
- Bull’s liver
- Chicken liver
- Black bean
- Brewer’s Yeast
In addition to the above foods, we also find folic acid in broccoli, dark leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and egg yolk . In Brazil, a law was passed determining that wheat flour sold in supermarkets should be enriched with folic acid and iron, in addition to breads made for general consumption in bakeries, reducing the occurrence of anemia, especially in children.
Alternative Forms of Consumption
Folic acid is easily found in food, but it can also be found in pharmacies through vitamin supplements in the form of pills, drops or solution . They have a price that is very accessible to the general public and are recommended for use by pregnant women, as their substance is responsible for the development of the fetal neural tube.
Folic acid is a strong ally for maintaining health, it is the main treatment factor for anemia in children and adults. In addition to its great effectiveness in assisting the production of healthy sperm, improving male fertility . It is also a great colon cancer fighter, working to maintain and repair cells in our body, helping to fight cancer-causing free radicals. It is also extremely important to protect the heart, controlling cholesterol levels and removing homocysteine, which are the main causes of heart disease such as clogged arteries and strokes.
It has recently been proven through studies that the use of folic acid helps in the treatment of depression, schizophrenia and in the care of autistic people. And Since it is a substance that controls homocysteine levels, it prevents the development of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other brain dementias. Another very important factor is that folic acid used together with vitamin B12 and B6, are responsible for preventing the development of eye diseases such as ocular degeneration , as it is a disease that occurs due to excess homocysteine levels.
Folic Acid in Pregnancy
The use of folic acid in pregnancy is of paramount importance because it is responsible for the formation of the fetus’ nervous system and its use prevents serious diseases such as spina bifida . Consumption is indicated even before becoming pregnant, at least 3 months before conception so that the woman’s body is prepared to develop the baby in a healthy way and thus ensuring that there is no lack of folic acid during pregnancy.
Even if the woman has a healthy, rich and balanced diet with all the nutrients considered important for the good development of the fetus , all obstetrics specialists recommend the use of supplements to ensure the baby’s best health. Folic acid acts in a powerful way to prevent congenital anomalies that normally occur in the first trimester of pregnancy, ensuring the correct closure of the neural tube, preventing the development of spina bifida and anencephaly. The neural tube is developed in the first month of pregnancy, and it is the one that will develop for the formation of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Most pregnancies occur unexpectedly, without programming, and when they discover pregnancy there is no time to start supplementation and make up for the lack of folic acid.
That is why it is indicated that every woman of reproductive age, has the concern of keeping foods rich with folic acid in their food menus and if it is pertinent to use it through vitamin supplements, even more if they intend to get pregnant soon. The amount indicated by specialists to obtain a better result is 0.4 milligrams daily , and in the case of women who have already generated babies with neural tube problems, they must double their care. In addition to having such an important factor in the development of the fetus, folic acid helps to prevent malformation such as cleft lip and palate, diseases of the heart and urinary tract. For the mother, the benefits are in preventing anemia, heart disease and even some types of cancer.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.