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Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), A Simple Guide To The Vitamin, Functions And Deficiency

57 pages34 minutes


Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is present in all living human tissues as important enzymes in amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism and red blood cells production.
Vitamin B9 also called folate (Naturally occurring form) or folic acid (synthetically produced) is one of B vitamins.
All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose) which is used to produce energy.
B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver.
They also help the nervous system function properly.
Folic acid is found primarily in:
1. Animal sources - liver, kidneys, salmon, milk
2. Vegetable sources: dark green leafy vegetables and yeast
Folic acid is essential for production of red blood cells.
Folic acid also works closely with vitamin B12 to help make red blood cells and help iron work properly in the body.
Folic acid is also needed for growth and reproduction
Folic acid is needed for stimulating the brain cell function and has been used to prevent dementia.
Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health.
It aids in the production of DNA and RNA the body's genetic material and is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly such as in infancy, adolescence and pregnancy.
Vitamin B9 works with vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine.
Pregnant women need more folic acid to lower the risk of neural tube birth defects including cleft palate, spina bifida, and brain damage.
Folic acid Deficiency is a medical condition caused by the deficiency of the human body of Folic acid as a result of inadequate dietary intake or impaired absorption.
It is fairly common to have low levels of folic acid.
Alcoholism, inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease can cause folic acid deficiency.
Also certain medications may lower levels of folic acid in the body
Folic acid Deficiency occurs
1. When there is Folic acid deficiencies due to
a. Diet - folic acid is just sufficient in normal western diet
b. Malabsorption as in celiac syndrome, sprue or hepatic cirrhosis
c. Malignancy affects the absorption of folic acid
d. Oral contraceptive may affect the absorption of folic acid
2. Severity of Folic acid deficiency is inversely related to age.
It is more common in elderly people.
Folic acid Deficiency is a silent disease.
Folic acid deficiency can cause:
Poor growth,
Shortness of breath,
Forgetfulness and mental sluggishness
Macrocytic anemia
Mucosa - mucosal membrane lesions such as aphthous ulcers.
Growth retardation and anemia is common in children with Folic acid deficiency
Mental-Brain dysfunction may occur in children with Folic acid deficiency.
Folic acid Deficiency is present when folic acid levels are low and there is anemia
Pediatric Diet requirements are:
Infants 0 - 6 months: 65 mcg (adequate intake)
Infants 7 - 12 months: 80 mcg (adequate intake)
Children 1 - 3 years: 150 mcg (RDA)
Children 4 - 8 years: 200 mcg (RDA)
Children 9 - 13 years: 300 mcg (RDA)
Teens 14 - 18 years: 400 mcg (RDA)
19 years and older: 400 mcg (RDA)
Pregnant women: 600 mcg (RDA)
Breastfeeding women: 500 mcg (RDA)
Amounts used in studies for heart disease range from 400 - 1,200 mcg.
However high levels of folate can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency and should be taken only under a doctor's supervision.

Chapter 1 Folic Acid and Deficiency
Chapter 2 Functions of Folic Acid
Chapter 3 Dangers of Folic Acid Deficiency
Chapter 4 Treatment of Folic Acid Deficiency
Chapter 5 Folic Acid and Interactions
Chapter 6 Interesting Facts about Folic Acid
Chapter 7 Usage of Folic Acid
Chapter 8 Questions and Answers about Folic Acid

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