Folic Acid

Guest article by Shwetha Bhatia

Folic acid is a B vitamin (B9). It helps the body make new cells. "Folic acid" and "folate" mean the same thing.

Common Sources: Green leafy veg, beef, liver, beans. Only 25% is absorbed through food and it's easily lost during cooking.

You may need more B9 if you take medications that treat:
  • Epilepsy
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Kidney disease and are on dialysis
  • Liver disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Low Vit C levels

Alcohol and oral contraceptives cause B9 deficiency. Deficiency can have effects on the nervous system, skin, cause neural tube defects during pregnancy, increase risk of heart disease and cause anemia.

Toxicity: Being water soluble, this is less likely; however excess can mask B12 deficiency.

Shwetha Bhatia is a registered dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association. She runs her practice under the brand name “Metamorphosis’ in Mumbai. She is also a competitive fitness athlete (IBBF Bronze winner at the State & National Level 2015). She has also set up her own gym and nutrition counselling centre in Goa called Gym & Tonic. She’s also a columnist for the fitness magazine Krunch Today.

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