Folic acid is a form of vitamin B and is soluble in water. Foods such as leafy vegetables, fruits (melons, lemons, and bananas), beans, mushrooms, meat (such as beef liver) orange juice and tomato juice are rich in folic acid. Folic acid or B9 is a vital nutrient for the appropriate functioning of the body. It’s also known as folate and is used for the treatment of low blood levels, anemia, ulcerative colitis, liver diseases and kidney diseases.
It helps in the development and growth of tissues as well as proper functioning of cells. The main tissues include hair, skin, nails and organs. It works with vitamins such as C and B12 to help the body create and break proteins as well as its optimum usage.
Folic acid for hair growth
Adequate intake of Folic acid leads to healthy hair growth at a faster rate. Its deficiency leads to unmanageable hair loss and hair graying. Therefore it is undoubtedly an excellent natural solution for hair loss. Its cell generational abilities act as a natural stimulator for natural hair growth in both men and women. Regular intake of folic acid is extremely helpful in treating male pattern baldness.
It speeds up the nutrients found in other foods that the body consumes, fastening the functioning of all those nutrients at the same time. It also aids in the shine and volume of hair follicles contributing to natural growth faster. Dearth of this acid is the main cause of premature hair graying. It happens due to a process called megaloblastic anemia in which the red blood corpuscles increase profoundly. Also it is a sign of a poor, improper diet. When the body is low on folic acid the cellular process declines which causes loss of various bodily functions.
Because of inadequate amount of folic acid in the body, the cells of the hair follicles get affected in the following ways:
- Deteriorating cellular metabolism due to lack of folate makes the cells too weak to handle hair production and growth.
- Hair follicles and their division is reduced when the cells cannot sufficiently absorb and permeate oxygen and essential nutrients. It not only affects the hair strands but also the scalp.
- Cells such as papilla and the ones that secrete natural oil get affected that causes hair fall and discoloring.
Therefore its deficiency could be responsible for prolonged interrelated side effects that cause hair loss and graying.
Folic acid and Pregnancy
The inevitability of the Folic acid can be determined by its usefulness for the development of the fetus. It is widely known for its faculty for preventing spinal and neurological birth defects. If consumed regularly and sufficiently it strengthens the tissues and cells to function properly. For such reasons, its compound medicines are often prescribed to pregnant women.
Studies have shown that women who get almost 0.4 milligrams of folate before conception and in early pregnancy minimize the chances by 70% that the baby will be born with several neural tube defects such as incomplete brain development or defects in the spine. It prevents the unborn baby from a cleft palate and iron deficiency. Such defects occur during the first four weeks of pregnancy which means before the woman knows that she’s pregnant. Therefore it is advisable for the expecting or a lactating mother to consume 600mg to 800mg folic acid everyday for the overall maintenance of her and the baby. It also reduces the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy.
Apart from these essential functions, it also reduces the pain and uneasiness during pregnancy such as muscle pain, nerve pain, and insomnia and post natal depression. If one has not had enough of folate before pregnancy than it is important that it be taken as soon as one is tested positive.
The dietary sources include green and leafy vegetables, brown rice, granary bread, cereals. It is certainly not feasible to rely completely on the food items for sufficient intake of folic acid; therefore one can seek medical advice to take supplements containing folic acid. One daily tablet contains the desired amount of folate one needs during pregnancy. Taking multivitamins with these supplements will balance the nutritional value and not too much folate. In any case if one has consumed too much it will pass with the urine. But the correct amount is very important and therefore consuming more than the recommended dose could be harmful.