As a water-soluble vitamin B, folic acid is very significant for red and white blood cell formation, proper metabolism of proteins, making new cells and synthesis of DNA. This substance is present in food, and because of that, not taking folic acid rich foods can cause folic acid deficiency. In pregnancy, higher amounts of folic acid are needed because of fast growing fetus cells.
Recommended Intakes of the Folic Acid Supplements
Recommended daily consumption of the folic acid is approximately 400 micrograms for adults. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers need the amount of 600 micrograms of folic acid per a day. Still, most of Americans do not have a sufficient intake of this substance because of the bad eating habits. That means that an average American meal does not include fruits and vegetables, as well as other folic acid rich foods.
Side effects of taking folic acid are not common. There are rare cases of flatulence, abdominal distention, sleeping problems, appetite problems, nausea and some rare cases of allergic reactions. In a first few weeks of pregnancy, it is important for pregnant women to take folic acid mainly because researches revealed that folic acid is the significant nutrient in preventing neural tube defects in a fetus.
Folic Acid overdose
Human body is not likely to absorb more than 1000 micrograms of folic acid. Even though, it is known that excess intake of folic acid can sometimes mask symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficit. Still, folic acid overdose is not likely to cause some serious problems.
Usual symptoms of folic acid overdose are: problems with the digestive tract such as nausea or gas; skin reaction (rash); insomnia, unusual dreams and other sleeping problems; irritability and/or hyperactivity; and a strange taste in the mouth. Seizures can occur to people who already have some seizure related disorder. Some of the researchers say that high doses of folic acid can increase the risk of heart attack in people with heart problems.
How to Treat Folic Acid Overdose
If folic acid overdose happens, treatment is based on treating symptoms that are consequences of folic acid overdose. For instance, if high amounts of folic acid caused rash, treatment would include medications for allergic reaction. On the other side, if an overdose triggered seizures, then supportive treatment would include a different kind of drugs that are used to regulate the seizures.
If one believes that he or she is suffering from the folic acid overdose, it is important to seek for nearest medical help instantly.