Folic acid properties



How to obtain folic acid?

When is it necessary to take folic acid?

Characteristics of folic acid

Folic acid (Vitamin B9), also called folacin or folate, is a water soluble vitamin of the vitamin B group. The name "folic" comes from the Latin "folia" meaning leaf.

The reason for this name is due to the fact that this vitamin was first discovered in the 40s in the leaves of spinach. In fact, folic acid should call the form produced by synthesis, while a vitamin which comes from the foods we should call folacin.

From a purely chemical standpoint, it is called pteroylmonoglutamic acid or pteroylglutamic acid.

Importance of folic acid

Folic acid is essential for the proper functioning of our body. At the cellular level its importance lies in its role in the synthesis of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid or element of the cell that contains and transmits genetic characteristics) and RNA (needed for the formation of proteins and other cellular processes).

Thus, for cells to properly duplicate need the presence of this vitamin.

This is not their only function but also involved in other processes that affect the heart, nervous system, the formation of the fetus, etc.

Its importance is such that, in 1998, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration Food and Drug Directorate = U.S.) ordered to add this component to many consumer staples such as bread, pasta or cereals.

Despite this, recent studies, it has been found to provide 88% of the U.S. population consumes less than the amount recommended basic or RDA.

Vegetables are high in folic acid

Symptoms of the lack of folic acid

The main symptoms of the deficiency of this vitamin are:

- Megaloblastic Anemia

- Weakness

- Paleness

- Slimming

- Lack of appetite

- Nausea

- Tongue sores

- Tachycardias

- Diarrhea

- Depression

- Lack of memory

- Bad humor

Where can folic acid be found?

This vitamin can be obtained from the following sources:

  • Food of animal origin: This vitamin appears very little in animal sources. Can only be found in significant proportions in the liver of chicken and beef. The milk or milk derivatives contain very low amounts.

  • Plant foods: The legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and some fruits are the richest in this vitamin. Among the richest we have the chickpeas, beans, lentils, spinach, asparagus, avocados, oranges, cabbages, cauliflower, wheat germ or whole bread. (See list of foods rich in folic acid)

  • We consider that the manipulation of folate-rich foods can destroy more than half of its content. Among the factors taken into account we can include: prolonged cooking with water (It is best eaten raw or steamed or low water), reheated meals (it's better to eat food and leave no leftovers) storage destroys natural food temperature to 70 (keeping the vegetables in the fridge)

  • Supplements: The intake of folic acid supplements may be needed in special circumstances where the diet may not be able to provide individual needs. (The usual dose is usually 400 mcg daily, combined with 1000 mcg of vitamin B12, folic acid as lowers levels of the latter vitamin)

More information: Folic acid foods

Special folic acid needs

Between the people whom they have special needs we have:

- Old or people majors that live single or in institutions badly directed: Since it is a water soluble vitamin, she destroys herself easily when manipulating it. Repeated overheatings, badly storage of foods, etc. We do not have to forget that, as of the 65 years, the organism has in addition less capacity to absorb this vitamin.

- Pregnant or nursing Women: Part of this vitamin transfers to the fetus or the baby. In order to avoid problems of bad formation or incorrect growth in the baby it is best to ensure an additional amount.

- People who smoke: Tobacco is responsible for a bad absorption of vitamins of group B.

- Alcoholic People or who drink habitually: Alcohol produces bad absorption of vitamins or a destruction of the same.

- People with problems of frequent evacuations: Intestinal patients with habitual depositions (Disease of Crohn, ulcerous colitis or similar) have a bad absorption of this vitamin.

- Certain medicines: Some medicines block the absorption of folic acid. Between all of them we have: the contraceptive pills, certain medicines for cancer, inflammatory arthritis, etc.

punto rojo More information on vitamins in the listing above.

Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B5
(Pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B7
Vitamin B9
(Folic acid)
Vitamin B12
Inositol PABA Lipoic acid

punto rojo More information about vitamins in the listing above.

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