Folic Acid Deficiency Symptoms: Supplement the Deficiency Before It’s Too Late


29 November 2017

Health & Fitness

Folic Acid Deficiency Symptoms

The human body needs to continuously take supplements in order to function optimally as not all vitamins and minerals are taken in recommended daily amounts. One such very important vitamin is folate or vitamin B9 or folic acid. In order to prevent further complications brought about by the lack of certain vitamins, it is wise to be proactive and identify folic acid deficiency symptoms at early onset.

Folic acid vs. folate

Both folic acid and folate are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B. Folate, otherwise known as vitamin B9, naturally occurs in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic folate compound that is used in vitamin supplements because of its increased stability.

Folate has been named after “folium,” Latin for “leaves,” because they were first isolated from spinach. Also, folate is the generic term used for both the naturally occurring folate that is found in foods and the synthetic form, folic acid.

The vitamin B complex nutrients are needed by the body in small amounts in order to function and stay healthy. In fact, according to recent medical journals, folate is involved in a number of intracellular reactions as a cofactor.

Deficiency potential

Research has found that the potential for folate deficiency is high or very common. In fact, it can be a serious problem if left untreated. In a 2006 USDA analysis of obtained data, most people in the US obtained adequate amounts of vitamin B9. But there is still a risk for some groups obtaining insufficient amounts.

Because folic acid is water-soluble, excess amounts of the vitamin in the body is excreted via human urine. This means that the human body needs a constant supply of this vitamin because the body cannot store it. And the recommended daily dose of folate is 0.4mg/d, which has been established for 20 years.

Read More:  Zinc Deficiency

Uses of vitamin B9 in the body

Vitamin B9 is vital for synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic material. These vitamins also aid in the rapid cell division and growth and are important in the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

But folate is particularly important for pregnant women to avoid major birth defects in the baby’s brain or spines, such as neural tube defects, including Spina Bifida and anencephaly. Combined with vitamin B12, it controls the blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which is associated with certain chronic conditions such as heart disease.

Folate is also used to prevent eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), to reduce signs of aging, to treat sleep problems, depression, AIDS, and inherited disease called Fragile-X syndrome. It is also used for age-related hearing loss, Alzheimer’s disease, and memory loss.

Folic acid deficiency symptoms

It is widely known that prevention is better than cure. So in order to avoid any further complication due to the lack of vitamin B9 in the body, here are the most common folic acid deficiency symptoms to watch out for, however subtle they may


  • Poor immune function, which includes frequently getting sick
  • Chronic fatigue/low energy; also include chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Poor digestion, including bloating, IBS, and constipation
  • Early appearance of gray hair
  • Pale skin
  • Mouth sores and tender, swollen tongue
  • Developmental problems during pregnancy and infancy, consisting of stunted growth
  • Mood change often, such as irritability
  • Anemia (severe cases)

Causes of folic acid deficiency

  • Diet. One of the most common causes is poor diet. Folate naturally occurs in a wide array of foods, and among its richest sources include dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, asparagus, and broccoli), beef liver and kidney, yeast, and beans. Among other sources are eggs, beet, milk and other dairy products, and whole wheat bread.
  • Eating overcooked fruits and vegetables. Folate is easily destroyed by heat.
  • Diseases such as severe kidney problems requiring dialysis, certain types of cancers, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease affect the absorption of the vitamin in the GI tract
  • Too much alcohol consumption increases folate excretion via the urine
  • During pregnancy, a lot of folic acids are used up by the growing baby
  • Side effects of medication, which includes phenytoin (Dilantin), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, methotrexate, and sulfasalazine


There are exams and tests taken to confirm folate deficiency in an individual. One of these is a blood test, to check the number of red blood cells and whether the body has enough vitamin B9. This is most common among pregnant women during their prenatal check-ups. But the most common procedure is the doctor checking the patient’s history and current health condition.

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I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in health, fitness, food and following the latest trends in these areas. I am an editor at Content Rally.

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breast cancer

Early Symptoms and Signs of Breast Cancer

October is the breast cancer awareness month. This tradition has been established in the 1980s and has been commemorated every year since. It is meant to raise awareness of this vicious disease affecting predominantly women. And a vicious disease it is. In fact, it is one of the biggest killers of women in the US, as well as the rest of the developed world. It is also one of the most diagnosed cancers. We asked professionals from Odonate Pharmaceuticals to share some insight into the early signs and symptoms of breast cancer, as well as possible treatment options available today. Early Symptoms Are Easy to Dismiss Breast cancer is not only a dangerous and widespread illness, but it can also be very subversive, particularly in the early stages. The symptoms and potential signs that something is wrong are easy to dismiss and can even go unnoticed. However, if you are diligent and check regularly, you should be able to notice any difference and seek advice from your doctor. Some people adopt the mindset that it is perhaps nothing and not important, but you really shouldn’t gamble with your health and seek help if you notice anything. Changes in the Feel of the Breast The earliest symptoms won’t be visible, but you will be able to feel them with your hand. Giving yourself regular breast exams is the simplest and safest way to ensure that you are able to spot any changes or problems early on. Some of these symptoms include the tenderness of the breast or a lump on the breast or the armpit region, enlargement of the pores in the region, or even a change in the texture of the skin (often described as orange peel sensation). Remember that even if you do spot these changes (particularly lumps), that doesn’t mean that it is cancerous. There are different types of lumps; however, just to be safe, any changes should be seen by a professional. Changes in the Appearance of the Breast The second level of potential early symptoms of breast cancer can be inspected visually as well. One of the most common of these is the unexplained change in size or the shape of the breast. This kind of problem is particularly noticeable if it is asymmetrical, i.e. affecting only one breast and not the other one. A more noticeable issue can be if the nipple is inverted or at least slightly turned inwards. This might be a stronger indication that something is wrong. If the skin of the breast is red, swollen, scaly, or with orange skin pattern, you really should consult a medical professional. Even if it is not a symptom of cancer, it is a concern which you should see as soon as possible. Nipple Discharge Finally, if you detect any kind of discharge from your breasts which you do not expect, it is a cause for concern. If the discharge is milky, most experts agree that this is not an indication of cancer, but should be investigated by a medical professional, nonetheless. On the other hand, if the discharge is clear, you ought to be responsible and see a doctor. The same thing applies in the case of bloody nipple discharge. Once again, even if it is not related to cancer, it is a cause for concern. Keeping yourself healthy may seem like a chore at first, but if you persist, you will find that this short and simple ritual is quite useful and that the benefits it provides far outweigh the trouble you put yourself through. Read Also: Can Breast Augmentation Cause Cancer? Breast Augmentation: Procedure, Benefits, And Risks 5 Types Of Cancer Prominent In Women

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Youthful Skin

7 Anti-Aging Tricks and Tips to Get Youthful Skin Like A Teen

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