Why Is Folic Acid Important?
The replication of DNA is vital for cell division. This is why this substance is so important during pregnancy for pregnant women – the rate of cell division and DNA replication is very rapid as the baby grows and develops, especially in the first trimester. Inadequate folate during pregnancy intake by the mother can result in various birth defects, such as cleft palate or spina bifida. And all of us are making new cells all the time as old ones die off, making this nutrient so important. It specifically helps in the creation of new red blood cells, making it important in treating anemia. It has been though that it can help to reduce certain types of cancer or reduce the risk of heart disease, but a recent study FOUND HERE published October 11, 2010 suggests that there are no significant effects on cardiovascular events, overall cancer, or mortality. There are also some thoughts and suggestions that folate may cause cancer, but an article published May 6th, 2010 and FOUND HERE provides reasonable doubt to that theory as well. So this acid may or may not be a miracle cure for cancer or heart disease, nor is it a cancer causing toxin, but it is still important to our overall health so don’t neglect it because it may not save you from heart disease or cancer! There are, however issues that are related to folic acid deficiency.
Folic acid deficiency may have the following symptoms:
* Megaloblastic anemia, in which red blood cells are large and uneven in size.
* Lack of energy
* Loss of appetite
* Sore, red tongue
* Mild mental symptoms, such as forgetfulness and confusion
Those at risk to be deficient:
* People 55 years of age and older
* Women who are pregnant
* Women who are breastfeeding
* Women who use oral contraceptives
* Alcohol and/or Drug abusers
* Anyone with inadequate caloric or nutritional dietary intake or nutritional dietary intake
* People with increased nutritional requirements
* People with a chronic wasting illness, AIDS/HIV
* People with recent severe burns or injuries
* People who are under stress for prolonged periods
Folate Foods – Folic Acid Dosing and Food Sources
It is best to get your supply from food, as heavy supplementation has been linked to increased risk of certain cancers (since this acid facilitates cell division and DNA replication, it could possibly cause cancer cells to multiply). So try to avoid foods fortified with this acid and go for those foods with naturally occurring folate. A good source of folate contains a substantial amount of folate in relation to the calorie content and contributes at least ten percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for folate in a single serving size.
Folic Acid Dosing Here is the RDA and (Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)):
* Infants under 6 months: 65 mcg (adequate intake) – (Not determinable)
* Infants 7 to 12 months: 80 mcg (adequate intake) – (Not determinable)
* Children 1 to 3 years of age: 150 mcg (RDA) – (300 mcg)
* Children 4 to 8 years of age: 200 mcg (RDA) – (400 mcg)
* Children 9 to 13 years of age: 300 mcg (RDA) – (600 mcg)
* Adolescents 14 to 18 years of age: 400 mcg (RDA) – (800 mcg)
* Adults 19 years and older: 400 mcg (RDA) – (1000 mcg)
Folic Acid During Pregnancy and After
* Pregnant women: 600 mcg (RDA) – (Under 18: 800 mcg – Over 18: 1,000 mcg)
* Breastfeeding women: 500 mcg (RDA) – (Under 18: 800 mcg – Over 18: 1,000 mcg)
Folate in EU
* In the EU the RDA is 200 – 360 mcg.
Here are some foods that are good for increasing your vitamin B intake, and some ways to use them.
* Dark green, leafy vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, brussel sprouts, corn, cabbage, beets, leaf lettuce, cauliflower, artichokes, sweet potatoes
* Orange juice, pineapple juice, cantaloupe, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, and grapefruit
* Whole wheat bread
* Nuts and seeds
* Enriched grain products
* Liver and other organ meats
* Beans and peas
* Fortified breakfast cereals
Folate can be lost from folate foods during their preparation, cooking, and storage. In order to retain folate in foods here are some tips:
* Serve fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible.
* Steam, boil, or simmer vegetables in a minimum amount of water.
* Store vegetables in the refrigerator.
Folate Foods dietary ideas
Try making a raw spinach salad with mandarin oranges. The classic combination of beans and brown rice has lots of it – look for a Caribbean bean and rice recipe that includes orange juice in the ingredients. Even without the citrus, beans and brown rice have lots of it as well. Eat whole grain breads that you make at home (it is added to store-bought bread when fortified). Add oatmeal to breads and baked goods, and eat a bowl of cooked oatmeal for breakfast. Millet can also be added to bread dough, or cooked and eaten with vegetables or as a pilaf. Here are a couple links with some more recipes to help you:
Salads and Sides
Home Cookers Meeting Place: Fast Recipes
We hope that you got your questions answered with Folic Acid During Pregnancy Folic Acid Dosing Folate Foods today!