Positive and Negative Effects of Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins and it is necessary for the production of red blood cells and normal metabolism. It is an important vitamin for pregnant women as it can prevent the occurrence of birth defects and prevents infant spinal cord defects - for example Spina bifida.

When we take citrus fruits like orange, pineapple, strawberry or vegetables like spinach, broccoli, green turnip etc., we get good amount of folic acid because these foods are rich in folate. Pig liver is also another food having high amount of folate. There bread and breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid.

Typical symptoms of folic acid deficiency include diarrhea, anemia with weakness, shortness of breath, nerve damage with weakness and limb numbness, pregnancy complications, mental confusion, forgetfulness, cognitive issues, mental depression, sore or swollen tongue, peptic or mouth ulcers, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, and behavioral disorders.

Other side effects that have been noted include fever, general weakness or discomfort, reddened skin, shortness of breath, skin rash or itching, and wheezing and they can vary in severity.

Half a cup of frozen spinach that has been boiled also contains a 25%DV for folic acid and is one of the foods normally recommended to increase your intake of folic acid. Some other foods with good folic acid levels are green peas, broccoli, lettuce and avocado. They are all about 10-15% DV, as well as orange juice, vegetarian beans, raw spinach and wheat germ. Pretty much all leafy vegetables which are dark green in color have high folic acid values.

Folic acid is vital for red blood cell production. Deficiency decreases the function of blood in transporting nutrients and oxygen to the body cells, resulting in increasing the risk of abnormal brain cells in transmitting information between themselves and glands, leading to over and under production of certain hormone that interferes with normal menstrual cycle and fertility.