What is folic acid and what are its chemical properties?
Folic acid or vitamin B9 is one of vitamin from large B group - water soluble vitamins, which are extremely important for preserving the health of the whole body.
Folic acid can’t be synthesized in organism, so it must be enter through food, as the main source. However, it should be noted that the absorption of folic acids in the intestine is only 50% of the total administered amount.
The process of feed preparation, significantly reduces the concentration of folic acid in foods, because a high temperature denaturize this precious vitamin. Therefore, it is recommended intake of fresh vegetables, which contains a lot of folic acid.
What are good sources of folic acid in food?
As good sources of folic acid in foods are:
- Greens (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, chard, spinach, parsley)
- Green paprika
- Sunflower seeds
- Tomato juice
What are the most important benefits of folic acid for women?
The most important function of folate is to build red blood cell together with iron, zinc, copper, vitamin B6. The fully formed erythrocytes properly blown oxygen to each cell, while any deficit of folic acid, leads to the formation of empty erythrocytes which will not fulfill its function. This will lead to degenerative disorder marked as macrocystic anemia.
Another important role of folic acid is to take part in the formation of nerve cells, and is particularly important for the neonatal period, or the period of pregnancy.
During the first 28 days of pregnancy, the neural tube is developing in the fetus, which is very important for the proper development of the nervous system of the baby to term. Due to the lack of folic acid, especially in this period, leads to a number of neural fetal deformities and abilities of abortion or birth of a child with deformations.
It is important to note that women should take folic acid before pregnancy, up to 3 months before a planned pregnancy in order to prevent these serious complications in the fetus.
On the other hand, the use of oral contraceptives before pregnancy substantially reduces the levels of folic acid, and with it the percentage of the occurrence of neural tube defects is very high.
The third important role of folic acid is encoded secretion of homocysteine, protein in the blood which damages blood vessels and can lead to cardiovascular disease, thrombosis, atherosclerosis, and stroke.
What are the symptoms of folic acid deficiency?
Irritability, fatigue, depression, loss of concentration, insomnia and inflammation of the gums can be signs of a folic acid deficiency in the diet.
Which is the recommended dose of folic acid?
The preferred dose of folic acid is 800 micrograms per day, for three months prior to the planned pregnancy, and from the beginning of pregnancy, for at least until the end of the first trimester - 400 micrograms per day.