Folic acid is a form of the essential B vitamin, B-9. There are other varieties of folic acid, such as folate, methylfolate, etc. The name folic acid is more common among us because we have seen the name on various products. It is a synthetic form of vitamin B, a stable version of B-9. Folic acid can be found in fortified food like cereal, bread, pasta, etc.
After enter the body folic acid converts into folate. It is the natural form of the acid. Unlike folic acid, folate can be found in whole food. Another form of vitamin B, methyfolate more bioavailable form of B-9 and that is why; extremely absorbable. Methylfolate is beneficial for patients who are unable to intake folic acid and folate.
Why is folic acid good for you?
Folic acid is good for our overall health. It is beneficial even for those who are not even trying to conceive. Folic acid is necessary for DNA synthesis of essential elements in the body like protein, blood cells, protein, and the nervous system. It also helps us with cellular growth, and reproduction. In simple sense, it helps with producing new cells in the body.
Folic acid is an essential vitamin for preventing various types of complex diseases, such as birth defects, brain and spine related issues (spine bifida). These are neural tube defects that started building in the early pregnancy period. It can start occurring even after a woman gets pregnant. Therefore, early precautions and preventive measures are required. Sufficient intake can minimise the risks of such neural tube defects and also have shown protective benefits. Moreover it can help you preventing miscarriage, maternal anemia.
How much folic acid should I take?
Recommended daily intake of folic acid for any women who are able to conceive but is not trying to conceive is 400 mcg. However, this should be incorporates with green vegetables, fruits, kidney beans, and fortified grains containing ample amount of folic acid.
When should I start taking folic acid?
A pregnant woman should start taking folic acid as soon as possible. If you haven’t start yet then don’t worry but also don’t delay anymore. This is good for your health and also for the proper development of your little one. Generally it has been recommended by doctors that 800 mcg is the standard amount of folic acid taken by a pregnant woman. This should start three months prior to your pregnancy, and should continue up to the postpartum period.
What food should I have?
In addition, with your prenatal medical design you can have food that contains natural form of folate. Some of these foods are:
- Citrus fruit
- Leafy vegetables
- Kidney beans
Is folic acid good for men too?
Studies have shown that folic acid is beneficial for both men and women. It turns out that folic acid improves the quality of the sperm and diet rich in folate or folic acid may reduce the chance of birth defects in sperm. Therefore, it’s good to intake ample amount of folic acid by both women and men.
For more detail consult with the best Best Gynaecologist and Fertility Specialist Dr. Shefali Bansal Madhav