Folic Acid Awareness Week: Folic acid is an extremely important nutrient. It is the synthetic form of B vitamin (vitamin B9) also known as folate. Folic acid has a great significance in our lives and especially in the lives of pregnant women. This water-soluble vitamin is found in green leafy vegetables, fruits and other food items. A deficiency of folic acid in your body can lead to a severe condition called anemia which is characterised by a deficiency of enough red blood cells in body. Notably, RBCs carry oxygenated blood to your body tissues. Not having enough of this nutrient in body can cause fatigue, mouth sores, tongue swelling, gray hair etc. Once you develop anemia because of the condition, you will experience weakness, shortness of breath, irritability etc. On the occasion of Folic Acid Awareness Week, here we tell you about some other significance of folic acid.Also Read - Men, Beware! Taking Zinc And Folic Acid Supplements Won't Improve Your Fertility

Prevents Birth Defects

Doctors generally prescribe folic acid supplements to pregnant women to avoid any chances of birth defects and other pregnancy complications like neural tube defects that may lead to the delivery of a baby without parts of its brain or skull. Folic acid also prevents the occurrence of preeclampsia, a pregnancy-related complication that causes high blood pressure, damage to kidneys, liver etc. Also Read - Are You Pregnant? Consume Folic Acid

Prevents Complications of Taking Medicine Prescribed For Controlling Rheumatoid Arthritis

Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are prescribed a medicine called methotrexate that often leads to side-effects like serious gastrointestinal symptoms. This happens because the medicine drains out folate from your body. Taking folic acid supplements can reduce this side-effect by almost 79 per cent.

Promotes Brain Health

A low level of folate in the body is associated with poor brain function. It also increases risk of dementia and causes increased risk of mental impairment in older adults, says a study published in the journal Psychiatry Investigation. It has been found that providing folic acid supplements can improve brain function in people with mental impairment. It can also help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

What Causes Deficiency of Folic Acid in Body?

You need to have folate containing food items in order keep the level of folic acid optimum in the body. One of the major reasons behind its deficiency is eating overcooked food not having enough fruits and green leafy vegetables, developing some genetic mutation or intake of excessive alcohol.