You’ve probably heard about folic acid at some point in your life. But do you know what it is for and how it can improve your quality of life? In this article, we’ve gathered important information for you to know a little more about this important nutrient.
WHAT IS FOLIC ACID?
Folic acid also receives other names, such as folacin, vitamin B9 or even pteroyl-L-glutamic acid. This nutrient is actually a type of water-soluble vitamin; that is, it is diluted in water, being considered one of the most important vitamins of the B complex.
Among the various functions it performs, some are considered vital, such as maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system, central nervous system and even the immune system. Furthermore, this vitamin can be easily found in the foods we consume in our daily lives. Among them we can mention:
- brewer’s yeast
- beef liver
- turkey liver
- chicken liver
- cooked salmon
- Brussels sprouts
Although folic acid can be consumed through the foods mentioned above, there is still the option of consuming it through supplements that are sold both in health food stores, as well as in pharmacies and supplement stores.
WHAT ARE THE PROPERTIES OF FOLIC ACID?
Being considered a very important substance for the maintenance of our body’s health, folic acid has several properties that efficiently help in the prevention of pathologies related to different body systems.
Folate has some functions that contribute to preventing and reducing the occurrence of diseases through processes such as DNA synthesis and repair, production of new proteins, cell division and growth, in addition to the formation of blood cells, more specifically, Red Cells.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS THAT FOLIC ACID CONSUMPTION CAN BRING TO YOUR HEALTH?
Since this nutrient effectively participates in several important processes in the maintenance of our body, it is not very difficult to imagine that its regular consumption can bring real benefits to your health, thus improving your quality of life and your well-being.
Check out the benefits of folic acid below:
- Helps maintain your brain’s health
Folic acid plays a very important role in the health of our central nervous system, especially when it comes to the brain. This nutrient is very important for this system, as it is through it that the proper function of this organ is maintained.
Furthermore, there are studies that prove that folate plays a very important role in the development of illnesses such as depression. This is because it is already proven that most diagnosed cases of the disease have a deficiency of the substance, which acts as an essential factor in the production of the neurotransmitter Serotonin, which is also known as the well-being hormone.
- Helps make the immune system stronger
It has already been proven that the vitamins belonging to the B complex, the group to which folic acid is a part, are essential to keep our immune system much stronger and prepared to fight unwanted diseases and infections.
- Keeps the cardiovascular system healthier
In combination with other B-complex vitamins, folate is able to significantly reduce homocysteine levels. When this substance is high in our body, there is damage to cell repair, erecting of blood vessels, in addition to increased blood pressure, with direct damage to the cardiovascular system.
- Helps in the formation and development of the fetus during pregnancy
One of the best known actions of this nutrient is during pregnancy, and it is no wonder that the vast majority of physicians strongly recommend additional supplementation of folic acid during this period. However, it is important to emphasize that, in this case, you should always look for a doctor to find out what is most suitable for your case.
For mothers who are planning to become pregnant, it is recommended that consumption start at least a month before, and continue for at least the first eight weeks of pregnancy. In addition to helping the child’s development, folate also plays an essential role in the formation of the neural tube, a structure that will later give rise to the nervous system.
- Strengthens hair, nails and improves skin appearance
Like the other vitamins that make up the B complex, folic acid works in a positive way to strengthen and improve the growth of nails and hair. In addition, it can be a great ally to combat skin irritations and also to alleviate acne, since it efficiently combats skin oiliness.
CAN FOLIC ACID BE COMBINED WITH OTHER VITAMINS?
Normally, when the consumption of this substance is prescribed, it is also recommended to combine it with other vitamins of the B complex, in order not to cause an imbalance between these nutrients.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED AMOUNT OF FOLIC ACID?
As we have said before, folic acid is a substance that should only be consumed as a supplement if recommended by your doctor, because its inadequate consumption leads to excess of the substance in the body and can cause problems such as:
- stomach aches
As for the amount to be consumed, if a deficiency of folic acid is found in your body, be aware that what is indicated may vary according to your specific condition (example: pregnancy), as well as depending on the individual’s age.
SEE IN WHICH CASES FOLIC ACID SUPPLEMENTATION IS CONTRAINDICATED
Although, when in excess, this nutrient can be easily excreted into the body through urine, there are some cases where its consumption becomes contraindicated.
Patients who use medication for the treatment of seizures and/or rheumatism, usually cannot use this supplementation, except in cases of medical indication.