How Does Folic Acid Work, Know its Effectiveness, Side Effects?

Folic acid is a form of vitamin B and it is commonly found in some food items like wheat products, lentils, beans, peas, sprouts, vegetables (asparagus, spinach, beets, brussels and broccoli) and orange.

How Does Folic Acid Work?

Folic acid is a type of vitamin that falls in B group specially B9. In simple words we can say that it is synthetic version of vitamin B9, which is mainly present in fortified foods and related supplements. There are many natural food items highly rich in folate, some of them includes peas, spinach, sprouts, broccoli, wheat products and also in animal liver.

The entire range of B vitamins comprising of eight components facilitates converting carbohydrates to glucose. Further, it also facilitates converting fats to good protein. Vitamin B is very essential for normal functioning of different parts of the body like liver, eyes, brain, hair growth and above all the nervous system. As such combination of folic acid and folate is important in almost every phase of life but it is especially helpful during the growth phase such as in infancy, teenage or during pregnancy.

How Does Folic Acid Work?

How Effective is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is very beneficial for human body as it helps in effectively producing new cells along with maintaining the existing cells. Further, it also helps avoiding any change in DNA that ultimately causes cancer. Folic acid medicines are prescribed for effective treatment of folic acid deficiency and also the anemia caused because of the deficiency of this vitamin.

At times doctors prescribe combination of some other medications in addition to folic acid to effectively cure a type of anemia known as pernicious. However, if we talk about vitamin B12 then intake of folic acid is of no help also it is inefficient to treat spinal cord damage. Patient should discuss about the problem with their doctors to know more about this vitamin B deficiency.

  • As discussed above folic acid is very helpful in curing folic acid deficiency and some specific types of anemia.
  • Usually Folic acid is prescribed with some other medication for better results.
  • Red blood cells are produced in the body only when required amount of folic acid and folate is present in the body.
  • This is not the end folic acid is also works in combination with other vitamins and facilitates control of level of amino acid in blood.
  • Research has revealed that more than fifty percent of the pregnancy are unplanned, doctors recommend all the expecting mothers to take minimum four hundred micrograms of folic acid on daily basis. This is so because it helps in reducing the risk of anencephaly and spina bifida (two frequently found birth defects in infants) to a considerable extent. This defect can occur right within three or four weeks of pregnancy. This is not the end, research has revealed that intake of proper amount of folic acid supplements during conception drastically reduces the chance of miscarriage and birth delay. Apart of pregnancy, studies have also proven the fact that it also prevents hearing loss and macular loss in aged people. Some people believe that folic acid is also very beneficial in curing depression but no clear evidence is available for the same.
  • Intake of adequate amount of folate in diet also prevents heart problems.

Some of the things that should be considered while taking folic acid are:

  • It should always be taken with plain water in room temperature. It can be taken with or without food.
  • Dose of the medication should be as per it is directed by the physician. One should not make any change in the dosage on their own without taking doctor’s consent.
  • Requirement of folic acid is not limited to only expecting mothers, instead; daily dose of folic acid is also very much required for females of all age groups.
  • People who drink frequently or suffer from bowel problems are more prone to develop folic acid deficiency.

Some of the common symptoms of folic acid are interrupted body growth, loss of appetite, breathlessness, inflammation and so on. This is not the end folic acid deficiency is closely linked with diarrhea, mental illness, irritation and so on.

People who take required amount of folic acid on daily basis have healthy heart and remain safe from any sort of heart disease. Hence, one should ensure to include all the food items that are rich in folic acids to have optimum level of vitamin B in body.

The response and effectiveness of folic acid is excellent. Folic acid is highly soluble and gets easily absorbed in body. However, it also gets excreted from body either with urine or by sweating. Hence, patients are advised to take folic acid supplements regularly so that the level is maintained to the required extent.

What are the Side Effects of Folic Acid?

People who are between eighteen to sixty years of age may experience the following side effects of folic acid:

  • Skin problems, nausea, fall in appetite, body pain and sleep disorder are the side effects of folic acid.
  • Different individuals respond differently while taking vitamins, hence’ it is recommended that one should discuss about the same with the doctor before starting any medication on their own.
  • Folic acids are water soluble, so they are easily discharged from the body. Hence; constant intake of this vitamin supplement is very important.

People who have suffered from cancer in the past or who have history of seizures or are on some specific medication should tell this to their doctor. This enable doctors to provide medicines that will not cross link the effect of the existing medication.


Folic acid is a form of synthetic vitamin which is very essential for normal body growth. Deficiency of this can lead to many minor and major complications. All the females who are planning pregnancy are advised to take minimum 400 micrograms of folic acid on a daily basis without any fail. It is not mandatory that it should be taken only in the form of medicine but it can also be taken by consuming natural food items that are rich in folic acid content.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 3, 2017

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