Causes and symptoms of Folic Acid Deficiency

Causes and symptoms of Folic Acid Deficiency

Folic Acid:

Folic acid or folate is a B Vitamin. It is also referred as Vitamin B9,Vitamin Bc, (or folacin), Vitamin M, pteroyl-L-glutamic acid and pteroyl-L-glutamate. It is water-soluble. It dissolves in water and is not stored in fat cells. Excess amount of water-soluble vitamins are released in urine.


Functions of Folic acid:

Vitamin B9 is vital for many bodily functions. Folate helps in synthesizing, repairing and DNA, and methylate DNA, acts as a cofactor in certain biological reactions. It is needed for cell division in our body, it helps in cell division and growth in infancy and in pregnancy. From children to elders everyone needs folate to produce healthy red blood cells and to prevent anemia. It is used in dietary supplements and fortified food items. Low level of folic acid in your diet may lead to folic acid deficiency in your body. Folic acid is the most prominent for women because they result to increase red blood cells in your body.

Folic acid gets discharge from the body by the urine. Urine discharges excess amount of folic acid from body causing folic acid deficiency in body.


Causes of folic acid deficiency:

  • Diet: taking very low amount of fresh fruits and vegetables and fortified cereals in diet schedule is the main cause of folic acid deficiency. Overcooking the food results in loss of Vitamins and that leads to folic acid deficiency.


  • Disease: Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease affect absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. It leads to folic acid deficiency.


  • Medication side effects: Certain medications like trimthoprim-sulfamethoxazole, sulfasalazine and phenytoin (Dilantin) can cause folic acid deficiency.


  • Genetics: Poor Methylators- people have genetic mutation or polymorphism could not convert dietary or supplementary folate to it usable form, methylfolate properly. They are called as ‘Poor Methylators’.


  • Excess amount of Alcohol: Alcohol interferes with folic acid absorption. It results in high amount of folate excretion through the urine.


Deficiency of folic acid :

A lack of dietary folates in our diet leads to folate deficiency. It leads to many health problems.

  1. Neural tube defect is the major one. It affects the development of embryos rating 0.2% every year, worldwide.
  2. Low levels of folate leads to homocysteine accumulation.
  3. Low levels of folate have been associated with specific cancers.
  4. Deficiency of Folic acid results in anemia called megaloblastic anemia.


Symptoms of Folic acid deficiency:

The Folic Acid deficiency includes,

  1. Fatigue
  2. Grey hair
  3. Loss of weight and growth problems
  4. Macrocytic anemia
  5. Weakness along with limb numbness and shortness of breath
  6. Nerve damage

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