19 Benefits of Folic Acid-What are the Side Effects?

The benefits of Folic Acid may differ for many different girls. It is one of the most important natural substances that are recommended to be taken continuously.

What is folic acid?

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a natural B vitamin that is used by the body to manufacture DNA and other genetic material. It is especially important in prenatal health.

It helps in treating many different problems in health, skin, and hair in general. So in In the following lines, we get acquainted in detail with the side effects and benefits of folic acid, some sources, and the effects of deficiency for women.

What is the difference between folic acid and folic acid? Are they the same?

“Folic acid” and “Folic acid” are often used interchangeably, but you should know they are actually different forms of the same vitamin: vitamin B9.

Folic acid has a different structure than folic acid and has slightly different effects on your body. The term “Folate” is the generic name that includes all the forms of vitamin B9, including folic acid and 5-MTHF. Folic acid is a specific synthetic form of this vitamin (1).

What are the signs of low folic acid?

Symptoms of folic acid deficiency

  • extreme tiredness;
  • lack of energy;
  • Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • Ulcer and red tongue.
  • mouth ulcers;
  • muscle weakness;
  • disturbed vision
  • Psychological problems may include depression and confusion.
  • problems with memory, understanding, and judgment

Benefits of folic acid for Hair, skin, and health

  1. Help to treat anemia, and iron deficiency in the body.
  2. It works to support the DNA in the body, thus protecting against cancer.
  3. Contributes to reducing the chances of developing cardiovascular and arterial diseases, as well as its great role in protecting against strokes.
  4. Significantly protects against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. Avoid the loss of vision caused by macular degeneration, which begins to affect people over 50 years old.
  6. Protects the body from osteoporosis, especially in the elderly.
  7. It has also been proven by many studies that it protects against symptoms of depression, and muscle and nerve pain.
  8. Through previous experiences, it was found that it is important for the girl during the menstrual cycle because it helps reduce the pain associated with it.
  9. Maintains healthy skin from the appearance of wrinkles and signs of aging.
  10. Getting rid of the symptoms of insomnia.
  11. It works to produce more red blood cells, thus increasing the body’s immunity.
  12. It helps in increasing hair growth, in addition to giving the scalp tissues the necessary strength, which increases the density and works to get rid of hair loss problems.
  13. Contributes to getting rid of the problem of acne, in addition to infections that appear in the skin such as allergies, because it contains a large proportion of antioxidants.
  14. The benefits of folic acid are that It is one of the most important vitamins that contribute to moisturizing the skin and preventing symptoms of dehydration.
  15. Reduces the appearance of white hair.
  16. Getting rid of digestive problems and disorders, thus facilitating bowel movement.
  17. It reduces the chances of developing chronic constipation, as it stimulates the body to absorb all the important nutrients.
  18. Reduces the risk of diabetes.
  19. Reducing homocysteine ​​levels in the blood, thus protecting the body from many different diseases.

Facts You Should Know about folic acid

  1. Each year, about 130 babies born in New York State have neural tube defects (NTD).
  2. There are about 4,000 pregnancies affected by NTD(disorders of the development of the brain and spinal cord) each year in this state.
  3. Up to 70 percent of NTDs can be prevented if all women who could become pregnant consume 0.4 mg/day of folic acid at least one month before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  4. Folic acid is a synthetic form of B vitamin that the body uses to manufacture DNA. DNA is essential for rapid cell division and organ/tissue formation in a developing baby.
  5. Folic acid can only help prevent NTDs during the first weeks of pregnancy, usually before a woman knows she is pregnant. In fact, because 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned, all sexually active women of childbearing age should take folic acid daily, even between pregnancies.
  6. About two-thirds of women in the United States consume insufficient levels of folic acid. Women can get enough folic acid by taking vitamin supplements, containing 0.4 mg of folic acid per day. Increase eating of foods fortified with folic acid.
  7. Folic acid-rich foods are fortified breakfast cereals, bread, rice, pasta, and other grain products, green vegetables, and legumes such as kidney beans, and lentils.
  8. A large glass of pure and fresh orange juice and a bowl of fortified cereal can provide you with 50-100% of the recommended daily amount of folic acid.
  9. A woman who has had a previous pregnancy affected by NTD is most likely to have a recurrence and should see a doctor before planning another pregnancy.
  10. Other potential health benefits of folic acid taking at 0.4 mg/day include reduced risks related to heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.
  11. Women should keep their folic acid intake below 1 mg per day, except under the supervision of a doctor. Sometimes high doses of folic acid cause complications in the diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency.

The Benefits of Folic Acid- 7 Folic Acid-Rich Foods


1. Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and watercress are low in calories yet rich in many essential vitamins and minerals, including folic acid.

One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 58.2 micrograms or 15% of the daily value (11).

2. Green cabbage

Which contains 44% of folic acid.

3. Broccoli

Which is characterized by containing a large proportion of folic acid, up to 26%.

A study shows that one cup of raw broccoli(91 grams) contains about 57 micrograms of folate which is about 14% of the DV (9).

When it is cooked the folate properties are raised and contains more folate, with each half-cup (78 grams) providing 84 micrograms that are 21% of the DV (10).

Broccoli is also rich in manganese and vitamins C, K, and A.

4. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are not only tasty and full of flavor, but also rich in folate. (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, etc)

Just one large orange contains 55 micrograms of folic acid or about 14% of the DV (5).

Citrus fruits are also rich in vitamin C, an essential micronutrient that can help boost immunity and help prevent disease (6).

5. Legumes

A legume is the fruit or seed of any plant in the family of Fabaceae, including beans, peas, and lentils.

Although the exact amount of folic acid in legumes can vary, they are an excellent source of folic acid.

For example, one cup of cooked kidney beans contains 131 mcg of folate or about 33% of the Daily Value (DV) (1).

On the other hand, 1 cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils contains 358 mcg of folic acid, which is 90% of the DV (2).

6. Avocado

It contains about 28% of the recommended daily intake of folic acid.

In addition to their unique taste, avocados are an excellent source of several important nutrients, including folic acid.

Half of a raw avocado contains 82 micrograms of folic acid or about 21% of the amount you need throughout the day (3).

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7. Nuts

Nuts contain a high percentage of folic acid.

Incorporating more nuts and seeds into your diet can help you meet your daily folic acid needs.

The amount of folate in different types of nuts and seeds can vary slightly.

One ounce (28 grams) of walnuts contains about 28 mcg of folate, or about 7% of the RDI, while the same serving of flaxseed contains about 24 mcg of folic acid, or 6% of the DV (4).

Folic acid side effects 

Now you know the benefits of folic acid for our body but too much of intaking this substance can be harmful too. The most important damages that may result from taking folic acid incorrectly or in large quantities through the following:

  • In the event that it is taken in large quantities, it may lead to severe contractions in the stomach wall.
  • It can cause severe diarrhea.
  • Excessive intake of folic acid leads to the formation of a large proportion of gases in the stomach.
  • It leads to the appearance of rash symptoms significantly, if taken in large quantities.
  • Sometimes it may negatively affect the nervous system in the body, causing nerve damage.
  • Infection of the skin with constant irritation results in the appearance of areas of redness.
  • Sometimes it may reduce the body’s immunity if taken in large quantities.
  • According to some foreign studies, it has been proven that an excessive increase in folic acid may cause many problems related to the hormone insulin.
  • It can lead to cancer or liver disease if consumed in excess.
  • It interacts with various medicines such as epilepsy or cancer medicines, and it also interacts widely with medicines for treating colon symptoms.
  • Sometimes it may negatively affect the health of the respiratory system, and the person has difficulty breathing normally.
  • It causes sleep disturbances if taken in large quantities.
  • It causes a loss of desire to eat for long periods, which may expose the body to losing a lot of excess weight within a short period of time.
  • It causes constant dizziness and nausea.
  • Leaves a foul taste in the mouth.

Therefore, it is best to consult a physician before taking folic acid, in addition to the fact that the prescribed dose must be adhered to without excessive.

Symptoms of folic acid deficiency in the body

In the context of our discussion Side Effects and Benefits of Folic Acid for Girls, we will learn through this paragraph about the most important symptoms that show a lack of folic acid in the body:

  • General weakness in the immune system, and the incidence of immune diseases frequently.
  • Constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
  • General weakness of the digestive system, and the occurrence of a defect in its functions, thus increasing the chances of developing constipation, bloating, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • In the case of a pregnant woman, problems with the development of the fetus occur.
  • Various anemia diseases, and the body’s inability to absorb the high amount of iron.
  • Severe swelling of the tongue and the tissues of the mouth can be exposed to unusual softness.
  • Severe and severe mood swings, and symptoms of irritability and sensitivity in the body.
  • Skin discoloration.
  • Sometimes the body may experience significant and noticeable weight loss.
  • A lack of folic in the body exposes the person to a general weakness in the cognitive centers in the body, and severe difficulty in concentrating.
  • Respiratory disorders may lead to severe shortness of breath.
  • Heart rate faster than normal.

Categories exposed to folic acid deficiency

  • A woman who is planning to become pregnant, and a woman in the first months of her pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding women in general.
  • People who drink excessively alcoholic beverages.
  • People with liver and kidney disease.
  • People with diabetes are committed to taking diabetes medications.
  • In the case of people taking medicines that help diuresis.

FAQ – The side effects and benefits of folic acid 

Can folic acid have negative effects?

When taken orally: It is LIKELY SAFE to take folic acid in doses of no more than 1 mg per day. Doses greater than 1 mg per day may be unsafe. These doses may cause stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, confusion, behavioral changes, skin reactions, seizures, and other side effects.

Does folic acid grow hair?

The benefits of folic acid are Folic acid helps promote hair growth, adds volume, and even reduces premature graying – it does so by intensifying the production processes of the body’s cells. (1)

Can folic acid cause baldness?

Research suggests that a deficiency of folic acid may be associated with an increased risk of cancer or gray hair. However, studies have not yet found a major link between low folic acid levels and hair loss. (2)

What does folic acid do to a woman’s body?

A synthetic form of folic acid is used in nutritional supplements and fortified foods. Generally, folic acid helps our body to produce and maintain new cells. In particular, the generation of red blood cells in the body depends on adequate levels of this vitamin. Folic acid deficiency is a known cause of anemia in adults and children.
Does folic acid affect the period?
Taking folate supplements should not cause irregular periods, and there is some research suggests that it can actually help regulate the menstrual cycle. Some research shows that taking a folic acid supplement can extend your cycle. This can cause your period to arrive a little later than usual. (3)

Does folic acid delay ovulation?

Studies show that folic acid may also increase fertility. (4) One of the best benefits of folic acid is women who take a multivitamin with folic acid are more likely to ovulate (produce eggs). Previous studies have found that women trying to conceive have somewhat higher pregnancy rates when taking folic acid supplements
How many days should I take folic acid before getting pregnant?
When do neural tube defects or NTD occur? This may occur generally 25 to 29 days after conception before many women even realize that they are pregnant. (5) So it’s very much important for women who are trying to get pregnant to start taking folic acid supplements at least 3 months before conception.

Can folic acid cause weight gain?

There is no evidence that people with adequate levels of folic acid in their blood will gain weight if they take supplements. However, weight loss is a possible side effect of folic acid deficiency.

Can an unmarried girl take folic acid?

Women aged 19-24 years, unmarried women, and women who had never become pregnant were less aware and knowledgeable about folic acid or taking folic acid supplements. Additionally, women at high risk of inadequate folic acid intake were less likely to take folic acid supplements. (6)

The final thought

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folic acid, an important B vitamin. We get enough folic acid from our diet, but the people who are at risk of deficiency and the people who are pregnant or who may become pregnant may need to take a folic acid supplement regularly.

The benefits of folic acid are priceless, but there may also be risks. Some people should avoid folic acid. A person should speak to their doctor before changing their diet to get more folic acid naturally or before starting any folic acid supplement.

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