The synthetic form of folate, also known as vitamin B9, is called folic acid. Folate is water-soluble and occurs naturally in many foods. 
Folic acid can be used to prevent and treat low folate levels and high homocysteine levels in the blood. Folic acid can be taken from the food you eat daily. The amount of folic acid considered appropriate for an adult is 400 mcg per day. 
When enough folic acid is taken, this provides protection against many diseases. 
If a person is deficient in folic acid, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath and difficulty in concentration may occur. 

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin B9 found naturally in foods that helps to form red blood cells in the body. It is abundant in green leaves. Folic acid is not stored in the body. It should therefore be part of our daily diet. 

What are the Benefits of Folic Acid?

Folic acid is an essential vitamin for the synthesis and repair of DNA and other genetic material and for the division of cells. Folic acid is also used in the treatment of conditions such as depression, stroke and decreased memory. The benefits of folic acid can be listed as follows: 

  • Treats and prevents folate deficiency anemia
  • Reduce the risk of birth defects in the baby's brain and spine, such as split spine and underdevelopment of the brain, by 70% or more
  • Promotes a healthy nervous system
  • Helps break down, utilize and build proteins
  • Helps build DNA and RNA and participates in protein metabolism
  • Reduces the side effects of methotrexate used to treat arthritis, Crohn's disease or psoriasis
  • It plays a key role in the breakdown of homocysteine, an amino acid that can have harmful effects in the body when present in high amounts.
  • Folic acid plays a role in producing healthy red blood cells
  • Provides healthy blood cells that supply oxygen to the body

What Does Folic Acid Do?

Folic acid is very important for body health and has many different functions. Folic acid mainly 

  • It helps the body build healthy cells and convert food into energy
  • May prevent some birth defects (neural tube defects) when taken before and during pregnancy
  • Stimulates increased production of collagen, one of the main structural proteins of the skin
  • Helps the growth of new tissues and cells
  • Works together with vitamin B12 to form red blood cells
  • Regulates high homocysteine levels that cause heart and blood vessel diseases
  • DNA makes
  • Reduces arteriosclerosis and prevents heart attack, dementia and stroke
  • Plays an important role in nervous system regulation and fetal development
  • Folic acid is often used to prevent and treat neural tube defects and anemia.

What are the Symptoms of Folic Acid Deficiency?

If a person is not getting enough folic acid, they are likely to have folic acid deficiency. Folic acid deficiency can be seen in folic acid deficiency: 

  • Megaloblastic anemia (a condition caused by a lack of folate in the diet, or a condition that produces fewer red blood cells and less absorption at a larger size than normal).
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hair loss
  • Pale skin
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Depression
  • Mouth sores

On the other hand, insufficient folic acid intake by the expectant mother during pregnancy may cause some problems in the development of the brain and spine of the baby in the womb.