Functions of folic acid

Sources of folic acid

Folic acid is an essential nutrient because it is not manufactured by the body. The body needs for essential processes.

Functions of folic acid (vitamin B9)

Folic acid helps the body to create and maintain in good repair DNA and RNA, which we know are the building blocks of life. Folic acid is needed to correctly form the red blood cells and for our body to metabolize proteins that and get energy.

Folic acid and other B vitamins, has been shown to fight cardiovascular disease and help prevent Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, cancer, even helps to stabilize mental health.

Folic acid and DNA and RNA

Folic acid, together with other B vitamins are an important part of DNA and RNA replication process. From time to time may be an error in the replication of a DNA strand, which can lead to mutation and cancer. Folic acid and B vitamins work to catch errors or even prevent the cells to be healthy from the start. In fact this is the reason why folic acid is so important to take before and during pregnancy. Folic acid prevents birth defects such as spina bifida, cleft palate, anencephaly, cleft lip and other neural tube defects.

Folic acid and anemia

If our red blood cells do not form correctly we can develop a condition known as anemia. Anemia is caused by a number of diseases or processes, in which folic acid but not cure the potentially serious disease your doctor will prescribe folic acid for anemia as it helps to improve it.

Folic acid and homocysteine

Homocysteine ​​is an amino acid, an intermediate between methionine and cysteine. Homocysteine ​​is a compound potentially harmful because it is unstable and is linked to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Typically, folic acid and B vitamins are present in this decomposition process to convert homocysteine ​​into cysteine, which itself is healthy. If there is insufficient amount of vitamin B, including folic acid, could produce an accumulation of homocysteine ​​in the blood.

Until now it has been found that homocysteine ​​is toxic to the lining of blood vessels, which may lead to a hardening of the arteries, ie arteriosclerosis. Folic acid is the vitamin that is mainly involved in reducing levels of homocysteine ​​in the blood, but the other B vitamins have also been shown to be related.

Folic acid and osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a chronic degenerative bone disease that affects women mainly and can begin as early as thirty years of age. Evidence has shown that homocysteine ​​is involved in the process and it is believed that this may be due to lack of blood flow to the bones. Bones need oxygen and nutrients that it provides blood to grow properly and stay healthy. Folic acid is essential to ensure that homocysteine ​​does not reach high levels and end damaging the blood vessels.

Natural sources of folic acid

Within food folate found in:

  • Peas and beans
  • Fruit and citrus
  • Green leafy vegetables

As we see folic acid or vitamin B9 is a nutrient for our body not only helps with DNA, RNA replication and maintenance of cell membranes, but has other functions essential to our health.

Necessary doses of folic acid

The recommended daily intake of folic acid is 400 mcg. and if you are pregnant or could become pregnant or nursing should be taken as between 600 and 800 mcg. daily.

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