Folic Acid Benefits, Applications, Side Effects, and More

folic acid benefits
Folic Acid Benefits, Foods, Applications

Folic acid, like folate, is a type of vitamin B9; you can take it if you are deficient in folic acid. It helps to avoid pregnancy-related complications. Folic acid can be found in a variety of foods in your kitchen. Folic acid is abundant in leafy vegetables, okra, and asparagus, for example.

To achieve your daily folic acid requirement, you can also consume beans, nutritional yeast, and mushrooms. It is now also accessible as a supplement. Folic acid, on the other hand, sprang to prominence in 1998, when a Federal legislation mandated that it be added to cold cereals, flour, and bread.

Folic acid has numerous applications and benefits. Meeting your daily folate needs will help lower homocysteine levels in your blood. To avoid spina bifida, a serious congenital defect, pregnant women should take folic acid. It is also effective in the treatment of depression, stroke, memory loss, and cognition.

Folic Acid Benefits and Applications

Folic acid and folate provide several health benefits to your body. They both treat the same problems, yet they have distinct outcomes.

Encourages hair growth

Folic acid, often known as vitamin B9, promotes healthy hair development. It is also necessary for the body’s cell proliferation. These cells can be found in your hair, skin, and nail tissues. Folic acid, as a result, promotes the health of the hair, skin, and nails.

Folic acid also aids in the proper functioning of your red blood cells. The formation of red blood cells is necessary for the prevention of premature greying. Folic acid deficiency affects the pigments in the hair, causing it to turn grey.

The daily folic acid dose for hair growth is 400 mcg.

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Folic Acid Is Helpful During Menstruation

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anaemia affects roughly 469 million women globally. It is caused mostly by iron loss during episodes of excessive bleeding.

Folic acid promotes the development and maintenance of cells that carry iron throughout your body. As a result, you should take a folic acid and iron supplement during your period.

When taken simultaneously, they aid in the restoration of red blood cell levels. As a result, they avoid anaemia symptoms. 300 mcg is the recommended daily allowance for teenagers aged 9 to 13. Adult women should consume 400 mcg of folic acid each day.

According to one study, folic acid consumption has an inverse association with the length of the menstrual cycle. However, this is predominantly seen in women aged 18 to 30.

Folic Acid Aids Fertility

Folic acid has a strong influence on fertility. The results, however, differ between males and females. It is extremely beneficial to female fertility. A lady who is having difficulty conceiving should see her doctor to see if she is deficient in folic acid. It also prevents pregnancy malformations, which can lead to miscarriage. It boosts cell metabolism in the ovaries.

According to one study, the beneficial benefits of folic acid on male fertility are unknown. It does, however, improve the quality of a man’s sperm.

Furthermore, it reduces the likelihood of sperm abnormalities, which might stymie the conception process. However, there is no evidence to back up these claims. As a result, it may or may not have an effect on male fertility.

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Useful Prior to and During Pregnancy

During the early stages of pregnancy, folic acid is critical for the development of the foetus. Folic acid, according to study, aids in the formation of the neural tube, which functions as the baby’s brain and spinal cord. It avoids severe congenital impairments such as anencephaly, brain defects, and spina bifida (spine defect).

Folic acid should be consumed on a daily basis by all women of reproductive age. There are two possible explanations. To begin with, most pregnancies are unplanned.

Second, major congenital impairments manifest themselves very early in pregnancy, about 3-4 weeks after conception. It is also the moment when most women are ignorant that they are pregnant. As a result, it is critical to maintain your reproductive health.

Folic acid protects against heart disease

Folate and vitamin B12 are in charge of converting homocysteine to methionine, which is used to make new proteins. When your body does not have enough folate, this process is disturbed. Hyperhomocysteinemia, or a rise in homocysteine levels, results.

Unfortunately, it damages your arteries and creates blood clots in your blood vessels. As a result, taking folic acid is critical. It reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. Folic acid should also be taken orally by those with excessive homocysteine levels and kidney failure.


Preserves Brain Health

Folic acid deficiency can lead to developmental delays and cognitive decline. It may also result in behavioural and psychological issues.

According to studies, adequate folic acid intake may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric diseases, depression, and epilepsy. It also regulates homocysteine levels in the blood.

As a result, it reduces the risk of heart disease in the elderly. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and mental problems. Folic acid also boosts cognitive ability and memory, which is beneficial in the long run.

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Folic Acid Rich Foods

Folate, often known as vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin found in fortified foods. It is also available in the form of a folic acid supplement. Here are some folic acid-rich foods.

Kidney Beans

The amount of folate in various legumes varies. Kidney beans, on the other hand, are one of the greatest sources of folic acid among legumes. They also include a lot of protein, fibre, and antioxidants. Kidney beans are also high in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron.

Nutritive value

Kidney beans contain the following nutrients in 100 grammes:

346 kilocalories
22.9 g protein
Carbohydrates: 60.6 g Fat: 1.3 g
330 g folate


Asparagus contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals, including folate. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities, as well as being high in antioxidants. Furthermore, it is a good source of fibre.

Nutritive value

Asparagus includes the following nutrients in 100 grammes:

20 kilocalories
2.2 g protein
0.12g fat
3.88 g carbohydrate
69.7 g Folate


Eggs are a great source of folic acid. You can add them once daily or 3-4 times per week to help your body meet its nutritional demands. They also include a lot of protein, selenium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.

They are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin. They are important antioxidants that help to prevent eye diseases like macular degeneration.

Nutritive value

100 grammes of eggs include the following nutrients:

173 kilocalories
13.3 g protein
13.3 g fat
0.9 g carbohydrate
49.3 g Folate

Leafy Greens

Leafy green veggies are low in calories while being high in vitamins and minerals. Spinach, kale, and arugula are some examples. They are also high in fibre, vitamin K, and vitamin A.

As a result, they provide numerous health benefits such as lowering inflammation, lowering cancer risk, and aiding in weight loss.

Nutritive value

Spinach provides the following nutrients in 100 grammes:

26 kilocalories
2.0 g protein
0.6 g fat
2.9 g carbohydrate
Folate (142 g)


Beets add a splash of colour to both main courses and desserts. They are high in numerous essential minerals, including manganese, potassium, and vitamin C, and can help you meet your daily requirements quickly.

They contain a lot of nitrates, a plant component that has a lot of health benefits. Adults can benefit from beetroot juice to reduce their systolic blood pressure.

Nutritive value

100 grammes of raw beets contain the following nutrients:

Calories: 43 kilocalories
1.6 g protein
Carbohydrates: 8.8 g Fat: 0.1 g
97.3 g folate

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, broccoli, cabbage, and kohlrabi. They include a lot of folate, vitamins, and minerals.

They are also high in kaempferol, an antioxidant with numerous health advantages. They aid in the reduction of inflammation and oxidative damage.

Nutritive value

Brussels sprouts contain the following nutrients in 100 grammes:

52 kilocalories
4.7 g protein
0.5 g fat
7.1 g carbohydrate
85.1 g folate

Let’s take a look at all of the potential negative effects and precautions you should be aware of.

Potential Folic Acid Side Effects

It is not recommended to ingest more than 1 mg of folic acid each day. To maximise advantages, the amount should not exceed the dosage. Taking more than the recommended amount may endanger your health. It may have negative health consequences such as:

  • Uncomfortable stomach
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritability
  • Confusion
  • Behavior Modifications Skin Modifications
  • Seizures

It is available in supplement form. Another kind of folic acid is L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF). It is safe to take 400 mcg each day, but no more. Excessive folic acid use can result in major negative effects in the long run.

Taking more than 0.8-1.2 mg of folic acid per day may raise the risk of cancer and heart stroke in persons who already have cardiac problems. Furthermore, those with specific medical disorders should use folic acid supplements with extreme caution.

Precautions and Folic Acid Allowable Doses

Breastfeeding and Pregnancy

Only a suitable amount of folic acid should be consumed by pregnant and nursing women. To prevent congenital defects in newborns, pregnant women should take no more than 300-400 mcg of folic acid.

In pregnant women over the age of 18, the tolerated maximum limit for folic acid is 800 mcg. In the case of adult women, however, it is 1000 mcg.

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Children’s everyday needs differ depending on their age. However, it should not exceed the daily top limits, which are listed below-

  • 300 mcg for ages 1-3 years
  • 400 mcg for children aged 4 to 8 years
  • 9-13 years: 600 mg
  • 800 mcg for 14-18 year olds


Angioplasty is a technique that is used to expand constricted arteries. Excess folic acid, B6, and B12 may aggravate the illness.

As a result, it is best to discuss your medical healthcare specialist before incorporating folic acid into your recovery from angioplasty.


If you ingest more than 0.8-1 mg of folic acid each day, it can exacerbate cancer. As a result, those with a history of cancer should avoid taking large amounts of folic acid.


Seizure disorder causes electrical disturbances in the brain. Folic acid supplements should not be taken by people who have seizure problems. It has the potential to aggravate seizures, making them dangerous to you.

As a result, you should not use folic acid without a doctor’s prescription.


Vitamin B9 comes in two forms: folic acid and folate. The distinction is that folate is a natural form of vitamin B9, whereas folic acid is a manufactured variant.

Folic acid provides numerous health benefits, including boosting hair development, maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle, and raising female conception rates. Furthermore, it promotes foetal growth throughout pregnancy, avoids heart disease, and enhances brain health.

You can get enough folic acid in your diet by eating foods like beans, asparagus, and eggs.

Green leafy vegetables, beetroots, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and citrus fruits are also high in folic acid. It is critical to be informed of the risks and adverse effects of folic acid supplements before beginning use, especially in pregnant women and children.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What are the advantages of folic acid supplementation?

A. There are numerous advantages to consuming folic acid. It improves hair development, boosts fertility, and is good during menstruation, for example.

Q. What is the function of folic acid in the body?

A. Folic acid aids in the development of healthy red blood cells. They are necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Q. Who requires folic acid?

A. Folic acid is required by people of all ages for a variety of biological activities. Women of reproductive age, in particular, should take it.

Q. Is it safe to take folic acid on a daily basis?

A. Yes, taking folic acid every day is really good to your body. The daily suggested dose is 400 mcg.

Q. Is it safe to take folic acid while you are not pregnant?

A. It is safe to take folic acid while you are not pregnant. Even if they are not expecting a child, all women should have it. However, if you want to have a safe pregnancy, you should have it before you plan it.

Q. Does folic acid cause weight gain?

A. No, folic acid does not cause weight gain. Assume, however, that your body is lacking in folic acid. In that situation, you may suffer weight loss as a side effect.

Q. Should I take folic acid first thing in the morning or last thing at night?

A. You should take folic acid first thing in the morning. This advise is made since digestion slows down at night. As a result, folic acid absorption is greater or more efficient in the morning.

Q: How long do you use folic acid for?

A. You should take folic acid on a regular basis in accordance with your age’s suggested daily requirement. However, it may produce adverse effects, so consult with a healthcare expert first.

Q. Does folic acid have any negative side effects?

A. Yes, folic acid might have adverse effects if taken in excess. These symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhoea. It may also raise the risk of cancer and heart attack in persons who already have cardiac problems.

Q. Is folic acid beneficial to hair growth?

A. Folic acid is beneficial to hair growth. It also prevents premature greying by controlling your body’s generation of red blood cells.

Q. What are the signs of a folic acid deficiency?

A. Folic acid deficiency manifests itself in a variety of ways. These symptoms include chronic weariness, weakness, and lethargy.

Q. What foods contain folic acid?

A. Folic acid can be found in a variety of foods. It’s a combination of beans, asparagus, and eggs. It is also found in leafy greens, beets, brussels sprouts, and citrus fruits.

Q. Can folic acid control menstruation?

A. Yes, folic acid regulates menstruation. It replenishes your body’s red blood cell levels and prevents anaemia symptoms.

Q. What role does folic acid play throughout pregnancy?

A. Folic acid is beneficial during pregnancy because it is necessary for the baby’s early development. Furthermore, it aids in the formation of the neural tube and prevents serious congenital abnormalities.

Q. Can I take folic acid while on my period?

A. You can take folic acid while on your menstruation. It aids in cell growth and maintenance by regulating iron transport.

Q: Does folic acid boost fertility?

A. Folic acid does boost fertility in both men and women. In the case of women, it ensures the best results. However, it does not guarantee male fertility.

Q. Does folic acid cause sleepiness?

A. Excessive folic acid consumption may cause sleepiness. It can also cause fatigue, weakness, and difficulty concentrating.

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