FLORAL MEDICAL ARTS Folic Acid
What exactly is folic acid and why is it so important? It is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin that assists in generation of red blood cells. It is also known as “folate”, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or vitamin B-9. If a patient is deficient, this may cause anemia, or low blood cell counts. You must tell your doctor or pharmacist about your history before taking this supplement, and let them know if you have any allergies (particularly Dilantin). Some of the medications that may be affected by taking folic acid include: Cerebyx, Methotrexate, Luminal, Mysoline and Daraprim. It is imperative that you let your doctor know about all of the medications that are prescribed to you before taking folic acid.
Folic acid is generally found in liver, fruit (banana’s, melon), fresh green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus) orange juice and tomato juice. It is beneficial for use in preventing colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, colitis, and decreasing birth defects in pregnant women. It is also helpful for alcoholism, gum infections and macular degeneration (eye disease).
Folic acid is very important for women who are able to get pregnant as it prevents major birth defects such as spina bifida (where the unborn baby’s spinal column does not protect the spinal cord), and anencephaly (where the baby’s brain does not develop). Doctors general y recommend this supplement for women planning to get pregnant, women that breastfeed, women that had a baby with birth defects, and women with a history of birth defects in their family.
There may be side effects when taking this supplement, especially when taken in high doses, and you should inform your doctor if you develop rashes, itchiness, breathing problems, gas, excitability, nausea, confusion, irritability and behavioral changes. It is recommended that patients do not exceed the recommended daily dose of 400mcg’s. However, you may be prescribed higher doses if you are currently taking medications to treat epilepsy, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. We encourage our patients to be sure to read labels on vitamin bottles to be sure the amount of folic acid is sufficient.
Studies have been sited identifying 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to be helpful for patients who may be at risk for heart disease with elevated CRP and homocysteine levels (SMTHF) which reduced these inflammatory enzymes that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
In addition to taking this supplement, we generally educate patients on increasing their intake via their diets. Patients are encouraged to increase vegetables, fruits, beans and grains. Some products already contain folic acid such as cereal, bread, pasta and rice.
For additional information about folic acid and your general nutritional health, please call our office at 516.354.4310 and we will be happy to set up an appointment.
Floral Medical Arts is pleased to offer the exceptional services of our staff including internal medicine, chiropractic, neurology, diagnostic testing, acupuncture and nutrition.
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