FOLIC ACID – Best Nutrition products

FOLIC ACID

DESCRIPTION

Folic acid, or folate, was so named because it is found in green leaves, or foliage. It is sensitive to light, heat and air. Much of it (up to 65 percent) is lost during cooking, and dietary deficiency of folic acid is common. One study showed that 93 percent of men, 98 percent of women aged 18 to 54 years, and 84 percent of women aged over 55 years in the USA are deficient in folic acid.

Folic acid is involved in the formation of healthy cells, being necessary for DNA production and cell division.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS

Inadequate folic acid intake can lead to anemia, for which symptoms include weakness, insomnia, forgetfulness, mental confusion and breathlessness.  Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to the development of spina bifida in newborns.

THERAPEUTIC USES

•     megaloblastic anemia – Folic acid supplementation must be used under strict medical supervision for this treatment, as folic acid can mask pernicious anemia, a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Those WHO MAY NEED TO SUPPLEMENT

•     pregnant women and women intending to start a family, because the fetus makes large demands on folic acid stores

•     celiac disease

•     the elderly

•     alcoholics

RECommmended DIETARY ALLOWANCE

Age                                        Folic acid (mcg/day)

0-6 months…………………………………………………   25

6-12 months……………………………………………….   35

1-3 years……………………………………………………..   50

4-6 years……………………………………………………..   75

7-10 years………………………………………………….. 100

11-14 years (males)…………………………………… 150

15-18 years (males)…………………………………… 200

19-24 years (males)…………………………………… 200

25-50 years (males)…………………………………… 200

51+ years (males)……………………………………… 200

11-14 years (female)…………………………………. 150

15-18 years (females)……………………………….. 180

19-24 years (females)……………………………….. 180

25-50 years (females)……………………………….. 180

51+ years (females)…………………………………… 180

Pregnancy…………………………………………………. 400

Lactation, 0-6 months………………………………. 280

Lactation, 6-12 months……………………………. 280

BEST FOOD SOURCES

Food                                   Folic Acid (mcg/100g)

brewer’s yeast…………………………………………. 2400

wheat germ ……………………………………………..   310

wheat bran……………………………………………….   260

nuts…………………………………………………………..   110

pig’s liver………………………………………………….   110

leafy green vegetables……………………………..     90

pulses………………………………………………………..     80

bread, whole-meal…………………………………..     39

eggs……………………………………………………………     30

bread, white……………………………………………..     27

fish, fatty…………………………………………………..     26

bananas…………………………………………………….     22

potatoes…………………………………………………….     14

SAFETY

Folic acid is generally regarded as having little risk of toxicity in itself, but large doses are to be avoided.  This is because large doses of folic acid may mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.  For this reason, supplements containing high doses of folic acid are not available.

INTERACTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS

As one of the B-complex vitamins, folic acid is best taken with the other B vitamins.

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