Earlier we wrote about the symptoms and supplementing of a magnesium, potassium, iodine and iron deficiency. But when do you have a folic acid deficiency and what can you do about it?
Why is folic acid so important?
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the vitamin B complex. This vitamin is converted in the body into its active form: folate. You need this for good hair growth and as a building material for the production of thyroid hormones. In addition, it is good for the early development of an unborn child. It is not without reason that the advice for pregnant women is to take folic acid during pregnancy. Because folic acid plays an important role in the early development of babies, it reduces the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida.
Yet folic acid is not only important for pregnant women. We list what vitamin B11 is good for:
- The growth of the fetus during pregnancy
- The formation of red and white blood cells
- A normal cell division
- The immune system
- A clear mind (mood, learning performance and memory)
- Reducing fatigue
- The formation of the placenta of pregnant women
Folic acid is therefore a vitamin that you need for the growth and proper functioning of your body. But how do you know if you’re getting too little folic acid? These are the symptoms of a deficiency:
- (Persistent) fatigue
- Grey hairs
- Mouth sores
- swelling tongue
- Growth problems
- Pale skin
- shortness of breath
When do you get a folic acid deficiency?
A folic acid deficiency is usually caused by an insufficient intake of folic acid from food. Other causes of deficiency may include:
- Increased need for folic acid due to pregnancy or breast-feeding, for example
- Abnormality in the gastrointestinal tract, as a result of which you do not absorb enough folic acid
- Abnormal folate metabolism due to alcohol or certain medications
Consequences of a folic acid deficiency
If you don’t get enough folic acid, you can be deficient within a few weeks. A deficiency can cause anemia. This is a condition where you have too few red blood cells. This allows your blood to deliver too little oxygen to your body cells. Complaints can be: tired, dizziness, fainting and shortness of breath.
As we mentioned above, folic acid is especially important in women of childbearing age. Especially if they are pregnant or want to become pregnant. A deficiency during pregnancy can lead to birth defects. Not sure if you have a folic acid deficiency? Then always contact your doctor.
It is also smart for the elderly to get enough folic acid. According to scientists, this vitamin promotes the functioning of the brain. Both memory and the speed at which the brain works are improved by folic acid.
Nowadays, more and more men are also taking folic acid. Research shows that this vitamin has a positive influence on the fertility of men. While more research is needed to prove this scientifically, the results so far have been positive.
People often think of supplements when it comes to folic acid, but there are also plenty of foods that contain this vitamin. Folate is the form of vitamin B11 found in food. Foods rich in folate include:
Since folate is fairly unstable and sensitive to heat, light and oxygen, it is recommended to eat folic acid-rich foods raw as much as possible. If this does not work, it is better to steam or stir-fry the vegetables than to boil them.
If it is not possible to get enough folic acid through food, your doctor can advise you to take supplements. It is not dangerous to buy a jar at the drugstore yourself, but it is difficult to estimate how much folic acid you should take. It is dangerous to take too many nutritional supplements. Therefore, always visit the doctor if you think you have a deficiency. They give you the right advice.
These supplements are important to take:
Source: Healthline, Health net