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Folic acid belongs to the group of B vitamins. It is essential in the production of red blood cells and plays an important role in the metabolism. Folic acid can reduce the risk of some diseases or help treat them more efficiently. Those conditions and diseases include mental illnesses like schizophrenia and depression, but also arthrosclerosis, epilepsy, heart disease. It can cure or help cure diarrhea, gingivitis, gout, and even some types of cancer. This vitamin is very important for pregnant women. It enables the normal development of the fetus and prevents potential complications and birth defects, like spine bifida. Folic acid is also a good ally for women who want to become pregnant. Furthermore, some studies have shown that women who were impregnated in vitro and were taking folic acid supplements, had a greater chance of having twins. Some heart diseases can be prevented and the risk of getting them is reduced by taking folic acid. This is because folic acid lowers the homocysteine levels, thus preventing the damage to the blood vessels and making them less prone to plaque. Homocysteine has also been associated with depression, which is why people who suffer from depression are often advised to take folic acid supplements. Folic acid provides an energy boost, which is especially important in the periods of recovery after illnesses or surgical treatments. It is important to discuss with a medical professional how much folic acid should be taken. If it is taken in excessive dosages, it may have serious side effects and it can hide the B12 deficiency. It is best if it is taken as a product that contains other vitamins of the B group, as well as with other vitamins and minerals. The recommended daily allowance is 400 mcg, but some people, especially pregnant women and the elderly, should discuss with their doctor the possibility of switching to a higher dosage. Allergic reactions to folic acid are possible and they include symptoms like rash, swelling, dizziness and trouble breathing. Most health professionals agree that all the vitamins and minerals and other nutrients should be consumed in their natural form that is through food. Folic acid can be found in green vegetables, whole grains and beans. However, this vitamin is very unstable and can be ruined in cooking and storing. The human body does not have the ability to store it for long, so it should be taken on a daily basis and combined with supplements. It is not always easy to decide which supplement the right one is as; unfortunately, they often contain fewer nutrients than what the label states. The safest thing to do is to choose a manufacturer that complies with the rules of GMP- good manufacturer practice.

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