what is folic acid?
Folic Acid and Folate are a form of Vitamin B - 9. Both Folate and Folic acid are water soluble and the only difference is that Folate is found naturally in our food while folic acid is man – made. The natural sources of Folate are – green leafy vegetable, fruits, nuts, beans, peas, dairy products, poultry, meat, sea food, grains, etc. Folic acid are widely available as supplements
folic acid benefits
Both these types or Vitamin B – 9 perform various crucial functions in the body and the varied folic acid benefits are as follows;
- Creating red blood cells
- Preventing Hearing loss
- Preserving the brain health of an infant
- The synthesis and repair of the DNA and RNA
- Helps in the process of cell division and growth
Folic acid is believed to play many crucial function in the prevention from a wide range of conditions and as such is important especially in the case of pregnant women for the prevention of the foetus from developing any congenital deformities of the brain or spine, like spina bifida, neural tube defect and anencephaly.
folic acid deficiency
Folic acid deficiency refers to two things either extra demand of folic acid like in the case of pregnant women or the loss of folic acid due to Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, alcoholism, use of diuretics, etc.
folic acid deficiency symptoms
The Folic acid deficiency symptoms are as follows;
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitation
- Sore tongue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Shortness of breath
folic acid deficiency causes
Folic acid being a water soluble vitamin, the body is not able to store it in the fat cells and as such the body needs a constant supply of folate. Few of the common folic acid deficiency causes are as follows;
- Diet lacking in proper amounts of fruits and vegetables and fortified cereals
- Certain types of diseases that does not allow absorption in the gastrointestinal tract lead to folate deficiency like – Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, kidney problems and some types of cancer
- Genetic mutation can also hamper the process of folate conversion to methyl folate resulting in folic acid deficiency
- Alcohol abuse
- Certain type of medications can also lead to folate deficiency
high folic acid causes
There are certain types of medications and other health conditions that are the common high folic acid causes. Below are some of the high folic acid causes;
- Pernicious Anaemia
- Blind Loop Syndrome
- Increased food intake
folic acid side effects
There is no such Folic Acid Side Effects that one needs to worry about as Folic acid is water soluble and even in cases of over intake of folic acid, the body would naturally drain the excess folic acid through urine.
folic acid deficiency treatment
The Folic acid deficiency treatment involves increasing the amount the of dietary folate, taking folic acid supplements as prescribed by a doctor, besides that it is advisable for everyone affected with folate deficiency to either quit alcohol or reduce the amount of alcohol consumption.
folic acid test
The folic acid test is used to measure the amount of folic acid in the blood and determination of folic acid deficiency.
when do you need a folic acid test?
The Folic acid blood test is mainly given to individuals who show symptoms of folic acid or Vitamin – B deficiency.
The Vitamin – B/ folic acid deficiency symptoms are as follows;
- Swollen and red tongue
- Bleeding gums
- Low appetite
- Difficulty walking
- Memory loss
The folic acid blood test is also given to monitor the progress of varied disease treatment or the lack of it.
Folic acid test is also extremely important for pregnant women for preventing birth defects and for the normal development of the foetus.
preparation for folic acid test
Folic acid blood test requires at least 8 hours of fasting. Apart from that it is important to inform your doctor regarding any medications you are taking, as certain medications can cause false reports.
folic acid test procedure
The folic acid test requires a blood sample which is usually drawn from the vein located on the inside of the elbow. The blood sample is then sent for further testing.
folic acid normal range
The Folic acid normal range in the blood is between 2.7 and 17.0 nanograms per millilitre.
folic acid test interpretation
The reading of the folic acid blood test is done in terms of high and low. Higher than normal folic acid range does not cause any such problems as it is water soluble and is passed out through the urine, but it does signify the deficiency of Vitamin B deficiency. Vitamin B deficiency is needed by the body for the proper use of folic acid, and low vitamin B levels means that the folic acid is not being properly used.
Lower than normal folic acid levels could be indicative of the following condition;
- Folic acid deficiency
- Poor absorption of vitamins and minerals.
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