All About Vitamins

Folic acid (or folate)
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Why folic acid is good for you

Folic acid is one of the B vitamin co-factors. It assists the B vitamins to function more effectively.

Folic acid is required for DNA synthesis and cell growth and is important for red blood cell formation (it helps to make new red blood cells work efficiently and properly), energy production as well as to help form amino acids. It is important for healthy cell division and replication, since it is involved as a coenzyme for DNA synthesis - it is especially useful for cells that wear out and divide rapidly, such as red blood cells, skin cells and the cells that line the small intestine.

Folic acid also assists in digestion, and the nervous system, and works at improving mental as well as emotional health. Folic acid is needed to build muscles and to keep the body strong and in good condition. It is also required for protein metabolism and in treating folic acid anaemia.

Folic acid is also very important in the development of the nervous system of a developing foetus.

Basically folic acid is needed for the normal growth and maintenance of every cell in the body.

 

Important folic acid facts

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Groups at risk of folic acid deficiency

Talk to a medical professional about folic acid supplements BEFORE taking them.

 

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Symptoms of folic acid deficiency

Folic acid deficiency affects the growth and repair of the body’s tissues. The tissues that have the fastest rate of cell replacement are the first ones to be affected, so the blood and digestive tract are where the signs of deficiency will most likely appear.

A deficiency of folic acid on an unborn baby may increase the risk of the baby being born with spina bifida and other serious defects of the nervous system.


Deficiency in folic acid presents with the following symptoms:

 

Folic Acid and health

Talk to a medical professional about folic acid supplements BEFORE taking them.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS

Talk to a medical professional about folic acid supplements BEFORE taking them.

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Folic Acid in food

FOOD AMOUNT
Folic Acid (mcg)
Chicken, liver
85g
660
Lentils
1 cup
358
Chickpeas
1 cup
282
Lima beans, baby
1 cup
273
Black beans
1 cup
256
Navy beans
1 cup
255
Kidney beans
1 cup
229
Beef, liver
85g
200
Asparagus, cooked
½ cup
132
Black-eyed peas
½ cup
123
Wheatgerm
¼ cup
82
Collard greens, cooked
½ cup
65
Avocado
½ medium
56
Spinach, raw
½ cup
54
Brussels sprouts, cooked
½ cup
47
Orange
1 medium
47
Beets, cooked
½ cup
45
Peanuts, dry roasted
28g
41
Broccoli, cooked
½ cup
39
Corn kernels
1 cup
38
Romaine lettuce
½ cup
38
Endive, raw
½ cup
36
Rockmelon (cantaloupe)
1 cup
27
Banana
1 medium
22
Bread, wholewheat
1 slice
14

 

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Folic Acid recommended daily intake (RDI)

RDA lifestage age amount
  INFANTS 0-6mths
7-12mths
65mcg
80mcg
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
4-8yrs
150mcg
200mcg
  CHILDREN 9-13yrs
14-18yrs
300mcg
400mcg
  ADULTS 19-50yrs 400mcg
  SENIORS 51+yrs
400mcg
  PREGNANT   600mcg
  LACTATING   500mcg
 
TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT lifestage age amounT
  INFANTS 0-12mths n/a*
  CHILDREN 1-3yrs
4-8yrs
300mcg
400mcg
  CHILDREN 9-13yrs
14-18yrs
600mcg
800mcg
  ADULTS 19-50yrs 1000mcg
  SENIORS 51+yrs
1000mcg
  PREGNANT <18yrs
19-50yrs
800mcg
1000mcg
  LACTATING <18yrs
19-50yrs
800mcg
1000mcg
 
TOXIC LEVELS Essentially non-toxic


The tolerable upper limits should only be taken for short periods and only under medical supervision.


* The tolerable upper limit for folic acid (folate) for infants aged 0-12 months has not yet been determined due to a lack of data about the adverse effects in this age group. The only source of folic acid (folate) intake should be from food (breast milk and/or baby formula).

 

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Folic Acid works best with

 

Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for folic acid

Doses above 7150mcg/day can cause the following side-effects:


CAUTION

Folic acid keeps the drug Phenytoin (Dilantin) and most other anti-convulsant medications (used for epilepsy) from working properly. People who take this drug should NOT take folic acid supplements.

Talk to a medical professional about folic acid supplements BEFORE taking them.



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references

 

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Last reviewed: 1 January 2009 || Last updated: 1 January 2009

 

NOTE: Mega doses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or other supplements cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of nutrient supplement.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.

 

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