BLOG BY: DR. SONICA KRISHAN
An important member of the vitamin B family, folic acid is essential for the production of Red Blood Cells or the RBCs in your blood. In fact, folic acid, together with Vitamin B-12, allows a healthy production, functioning and growth of RBCs.
More Healthcare Benefits
- Folic acid could also prevent you from suffering from certain types of anemia.
- Besides, folic acid plays a crucial role in nerve function and the building of nucleic acid.
- This is important for the synthesis and repair of the genetic material in your body, including the DNA.
- In fact, sufficient presence of folic acid in your body prevents DNA from undergoing any changes.
- Thus significantly reducing the chances of suffering from cancer.
- The same also makes way for rapid division and growth of cells.
- Also known as vitamin B-9, this water soluble vitamin also plays various other crucial roles in the functioning of our body.
- This includes maintaining the brain health, and preventing the onset of hearing loss as you would age.
However, one of the most useful benefits of this micro-nutrient is the fact that it serves as an effective nerve tonic for the muscles and provides great amount of relief in case of leg cramps.
How Does It Help?
- We know that the growth of muscles is associated with damaged cells getting replaced by new muscle cells.
- Now, since folic acid is primarily known for supporting the growth of muscle fibers,
- an extra dose of folic acid is usually recommended to those who have damaged muscle,
- or else in case you have been suffering from leg or muscle cramps.
- Folic acid, for that very reason, is also known to be an effective body-building supplement.
- It is understood that physically active adults should include more of folic acid in their everyday diet, and also supplement the same if required.
- This is because when an otherwise physically active person is deficient in this particular vitamin, there is a chance he or she could be suffering from higher serum concentration of homocysteine.
- Homocysteine is an amino acid, a bi-product of the metabolism of methionine in the body.
- This homocysteine is often associated with inflammation, and its excessive presence of would make our bones vulnerable and more prone to fractures and injuries.
- The same also raises the chances of suffering from osteoporosis, a much debilitating bone disorder.
- Folic acid helps in the detoxification of this very compound and is therefore; also one of the key vitamins as far as our overall bone and muscle health is concerned.
Boost for Muscles
Apart from that, folic acid increases the very size and strength of your muscles by converting arginine, an important constituent of most proteins to nitric oxide in the body. Besides, it also helps maintain normal homocysteine levels, which are required for those who indulge in strenuous everyday activities.
Deficiency Is No-Good
- Please note that other than affecting the muscles, a deficiency of folic acid could also lead to a long – term reduced bone deficiency, which can seriously impact the mobility.
- Moreover, it may also affect your memory and a healthy functioning of brain.
- Those of us who are low on folic acid are also relatively more prone to allergic reactions.
- Mental fatigue is another common problem that has been linked to people with fairly low levels of this vitamin.
- The naturally occurring variety of folic acid is known as ‘folate’.
- Yet, this is one vitamin which our body is unable to make on its own, and hence the need to lookout for external sources.
- Some naturally available vitamin B-9 rich foods include dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower etc.
- Besides, milk, oranges, egg yolk, lentils and beans are also good sources of folic acid.
Sometimes Extra Source Is Needed
- However, those who are deficient in this vitamin or need an extra dose of the same.
- This is owing to some reason like frequent muscle spasms, are recommended to look out for fortified sources or even dietary supplements.
- This synthesized version is what we call folic acid.
- Also, in case of pregnancy, the woman usually needs an especially extra dose of folic acid, also known as a prenatal vitamin.
- It is since a deficiency could affect the growth of the foetus and lead to serious birth defects.
- Yet, it is always better to go natural as far and possible, and include ample amount of folic in your diet.