Besides the incredible benefits of folic acid during pregnancy, folic acid is also considered a brain food. It's needed for energy production and the formation of red blood cells. Because it functions as a coenzyme in DNA and RNA synthesis, it's important for healthy cell division and replication.
It's also involved in protein metabolism, and has been used in the prevention and treatment of folic acid anemia. This nutrient may also help depression and anxiety. It may be effective in the treatment of uterine cervical dysplasia.
During pregnancy the benefits of Folic Acid helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation, which is vital for normal development. Studies have shown that a daily intake of 400 micrograms of Folic Acid in early pregnancy may prevent the vast majority of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. It may also help to prevent premature birth.
To be effective, this regiment must begin before conception and continue for at least the first three months of pregnancy, if a woman waits until she knows she is pregnant, it may be too late, because critical events in fetal development occur during the first six weeks of pregnancy-before most women know they have conceived. This is why many experts recommend that every woman of childbearing age take a folic acid supplement daily as a matter of precaution.
The benefits of folic acid works best when combined with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C.
Signs of Folic Acid Deficiency
sore red tongue
birth defects in one's offspring
Folic Acid deficiency may be caused by inadequate consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables; consumption of only cooked or microwaved vegetables (cooking destroys folic acid).
Foods High in Folic Acid
green leafy vegetables
Oral contraceptives may increase the need for folic acid. Alcohol also can act as an enemy to folic acid absorption.
Do not take high doses of folic acid for extended periods if you have a hormone-related cancer or convulsive disorder.