Acid, also known as vitamin B9, is one of the families of eight
water-soluble B-complex vitamins. Like all the B vitamins, it
plays a role in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and
proteins into glucose that the body burns for energy.
Specifically, folic acid is essential in the proper functioning
of the brain and nervous system, and deficiencies of folic acid
have been implicated in chronic depression and other mental
disorders, as well as in birth defects that affect the neural
the grains and vegetables that are the best source of folic acid
tend to be in short supply in the diet, it is the most common B
vitamin deficiency encountered in the United States. In 1996,
the USDA approved the enrichment of cereal and grain products
with folic acid, and most doctors prescribe folic acid
supplements for pregnant women as preventive against neural tube
defects like spina bifida.
Folic Acid Does:
acid helps the body to make RNA and DNA, the body’s genetic
material that contains all the code for new cells. Because of
this role, deficiencies of folic acid can have far-reaching
effects, and is especially important during pregnancy, infancy
and adolescence when the body is growing rapidly. Folic acid
also is used in creating red blood cells and regulating the use
of iron by the body. It also works closely with vitamins B6 and
B12 to help control levels of the amino acid, homocysteine.
Researchers suspect that elevated levels of homocysteine may be
implicated in a number of illnesses and conditions, including
come cancers, heart disease, diabetes and depression.
Symptoms of Folic Acid Deficiency:
acid deficiency can cause poor growth, tongue inflammation,
gingivitis, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhea,
irritability, forgetfulness, and mental sluggishness. Folic acid
deficiency in pregnant women has been proven to cause neural
tube birth defects in the newborn.
Health Benefits of Folic Acid:
levels of folic acid in the mother have been definitively
connected to neural tube defects in the infant. Since the
USDA approved the enrichment of grain and cereal products
with folic acid, the incidence of neural tube defects in the
United States has dropped by 19%. Health experts state that
a pregnant woman can reduce her chances of having a child
with spina bifida, cleft palate or other neural tube birth
defect by 72-100% by taking a multivitamin with folic acid
throughout her pregnancy.
Recent research suggests that supplementing with folic acid
during pregnancy may also help prevent miscarriage and Downs
American Heart Association recommends B complex supplements
with folic acid for people at risk of heart disease. Folic
acid, along with vitamin B6, B12 and betaine, can lower the
levels of homocysteine in the blood, thereby contributing to
lowering cholesterol and the incidence of plaque in the
Folic acid and other B vitamins are essential for good
neural health. Again, high levels of homocysteine and
lowered levels of folic acid have been found in people with
Alzheimer’s disease. Because of this, combined with the
known role of folic acid in building neural tissue and
cells, many doctors recommend supplementing the diet with
folic acid or a multivitamin containing folic acid to help
prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Doctors often recommend supplements with vitamins B6, B12
and B9 (folic acid) for treatment of chronic depression. The
three vitamins work in concert to lower levels of
homocysteine acid in the blood and relieve the symptoms of
While scientists aren’t certain exactly how, it appears that
folic acid protects against cancer of the colon, breast,
esophagus and stomach.
Preliminary research suggests that supplements of folic acid
may reduce the risk of tumor growth in patients with Crohn’s
disease and ulcerative colitis.
study of 48 infertile men showed low levels of folic acid in
their semen. There’s a suggestion that increasing the level
of folic acid may have an effect on infertility.
Possible Side Effects of Folic Acid
effects folic acid are very rare. At extremely high doses, it
may cause stomach upset, sleep problems, skin reactions and
seizures. When taking folic acid, always include vitamin B12 in
the supplementation, as folic acid supplements can mask an
underlying B12 vitamin deficiency, which can cause permanent
acid is an essential nutrient. Its presence in adequate amounts
is vital to growth and reproduction of cells, particularly
neural cells. Because the normal western diet doesn’t contain
many good sources of folic acid, doctors often recommend
supplementing an otherwise healthy diet with a good multivitamin
health supplement that includes folic acid and other B complex
vitamins. One such health supplement that we recommend highly is
Total Balance from
Total Balance is
a formulation of over 70 nutrients combined into a total health
supplement solution that is synergistically balanced to promote
an active, healthy lifestyle.