Folic acid: indications and side effects

Folic acid: indications and side effects

Folic acid is a type of B vitamin and is commonly found in foods such as dried beans, peas, lentils, oranges, wheat products, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and spinach.


Folic acid helps the body produce and maintain new cells and helps prevent changes in DNA and thus prevent cancer. 

It is a catalyst for transformation reactions during the construction of purines and thymidylate, which are the basic building blocks of nucleic acids in the body (DNA, RNA), so folic acid helps the body to produce new cells and protect them from cancer.

As a medicine, folic acid is used to treat a deficiency of folic acid, and to treat certain types of anemia caused by a deficiency of it.

Importance of folic acid

Getting adequate amounts of folic acid is associated with many health benefits for the body, and the following are the most important benefits: 


  • Reduced risk of neural tube defects: Low levels of folic acid in the early weeks of pregnancy have been associated with neural tube defects in infants. Such as: congenital malformation of the brain, spine or spinal cord, and it should be noted that most women do not have sufficient levels of this vitamin.

  • Reduce the risk of cancer: Eating large amounts of it can reduce the risk of cancer of the breast, lungs, intestines and pancreas.

  •  This is because this vitamin has an important role in gene expression, and researchers believe that its deficiency may cause gene control to stop, and thus increase the risk of abnormal cell growth, and the risk of cancer, this deficiency is linked to unstable DNA formation, which may increase risk of contracting this disease. 

  • On the other hand, high intake of folic acid by people with previous cancer can promote the growth of their tumors, and taking folic acid supplements has been associated with an increased risk of this disease.

  • The possibility of reducing the risk of autism: One study indicated that a lack of folic acid in the body is linked to an increased risk of autism, as it was found that taking this vitamin before and in the beginning of pregnancy can reduce the risk of developing this disease in people. In those with ineffective folic acid metabolism, this effect still needs further studies.

  • Reducing the risk of cleft lip: One study showed that the use of folic acid supplements can reduce the risk of cleft lip and cleft palate.

  • are usually given to Folic acid supplements patients with rheumatoid arthritis with methotrexate. It is an effective treatment that is prescribed for this condition, but this medicine causes folic acid to be removed from the body, which may cause some symptoms in the digestive system.

  •  Reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases: folic acid with vitamin B12 vitamin B6 affects the control of high levels of homocysteine ​​in the blood; Its high levels may lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Reduce depression: Some evidence has indicated that taking folic acid can be helpful in treating depression.

  • Lowering blood pressure: One study in women showed that those who took more folic acid had a lower risk of developing high blood pressure compared to others, and it was found that taking folic acid supplements had the same effect, but studies have not yet proven. The possibility of using these supplements in the treatment of high blood pressure. 

  • Anemia prevention: Helps the body make new cells. Such as: red blood cells, so the body is required to form this type of cells to get adequate amounts of this vitamin, and the lack of folic acid in the body is one of the causes of anemia. 

  • Possibility to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration: Studies have indicated that taking folic acid with other vitamins.can reduceVitamin B6 the risk of age-related vision loss. 

Folic acid medicine Folic acid

is available in more than one drug form, all of them are available in Adam's pharmacy, including:

  • Folicum 20 tablets | 1 mg

  • Fulvit 30 Tablets |400

  • Folicum5 mg

  • D-cura | 4 Ampoule

Food Sources of Folic Acid

There are many food products fortified with folic acid; Such as: rice, bread and breakfast cereals. In addition, there are some types of natural foods that are good sources in them, but these foods are not enough to provide the body with the quantities it needs of this vitamin.

Studies have shown that it can be absorbed by the body from supplements in some way. It is better than food sources, and this vitamin is lost from food during storage and cooking, so it is recommended to take its sources with taking nutritional supplements, and the following are the most important sources of folic acid: 

  • Beef liver,

  • lentils

  • , beans and peas.

  • nuts.

  • citrus fruits.

  • Avocado

  • tomato juice.

  • Wheat germ.

  • Peanuts.

  • the banana.

  • egg.

  • Dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, okra, and asparagus.

Side effects of folic acid

When oral folic acid supplements are used in appropriate doses, they are potentially safe.

But oral use of folic acid can lead to:

  • Bad taste in the mouth

  • Nausea

  • Loss of appetite

  • Disorientation

  • Agitation Disturbed

  • sleep patterns

People who are allergic to folic acid products may develop allergic symptoms including:

  • Rashes

  • Itching

  • Redness

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Excessive amount of folic acid is excreted in the urine .

  • High consumption of folic acid can mask the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency until the neurological effects become irreversible. This can usually be treated by taking a supplement containing 100 percent of the daily value of both folic acid and vitamin B12.


interactions Possible interactions include:

  • Anticonvulsants: Taking folic acid with fosphenytoin, phenytoin, or primidone might decrease the concentration of the drug. in the blood.

  • Taking folic acid with a medicine that acts as a central nervous system depressant (barbiturates) might decrease the medicine's effectiveness.

  • methotrexate (Trexal). Taking folic acid with this medicine used to treat cancer can interfere with its effectiveness.

  • Pyrimethamine Taking folic acid with this antimalarial medicine might decrease the medicine's effectiveness.


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