Folic acid is a type of B Vitamin that is normally found in foods such as dried beans, peas, lentils, oranges, whole-wheat products, liver, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach.
- Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer.
- Folic acid is sometimes used in combination with other medications to treat pernicious anemia. However it will not treat Vitamin B12 deficiency and will not prevent possible damage to the spinal cord. Take all of your medications as directed.
- Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folate (folate deficiency), as well as its complications, including “tired blood” (anemia) and the inability of the bowel to absorb nutrients properly. Folic acid is also used for other conditions commonly associated with folate deficiency, including ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, and kidney dialysis.
- Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant take folic acid to prevent miscarriage and “neural tube defects,” birth defects such as spina bifida that occur when the fetus’s spine and back do not close during development.
- Some people use folic acid to prevent colon cancer or cervical cancer.
- It is also used to prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as to reduce blood levels of a chemical called homocysteine. High homocysteine levels might be a risk for heart disease.
- Folic acid is used for memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related hearing loss, preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reducing signs of aging, weak bones (osteoporosis), jumpy legs (restless leg syndrome), sleep problems, depression, nerve pain, muscle pain, AIDS, a skin disease called vitiligo, and an inherited disease called Fragile-X syndrome.
- Some people apply folic acid directly to the gum for treating gum infections.
- Folic acid is often used in combination with other B vitamins.
- Folic acid is needed for the proper development of the human body. It is involved in producing the genetic material called DNA and in numerous other bodily functions.
- Folic acid is LIKELY SAFE for most people. Most adults do not experience any side effects when consuming the recommended amount each day, which is 400 mcg.
- High doses of folic acid might cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, rash, sleep disorders, irritability, confusion, nausea, stomach upset, behavior changes, skin reactions, seizures, gas, excitability, and other side effects.
- There is some concern that taking too much folic acid for a long period of time might cause serious side effects. Some research suggests that taking folic acid in doses of 800-1200 mcg might increase the risk of heart attack in people who have heart problems. Other research suggests that taking these high doses might also increase the risk of cancer such as lung or prostate cancer.
- Don’t take more than 400 mcg per day unless directed by your healthcare provider.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination:
- Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) interacts with FOLIC ACID:Fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) is used for seizures. The body breaks down fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) to get rid of it. Folic acid can increase how quickly the body breaks down fosphenytoin (Cerebyx). Taking folic acid along with fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) might decrease the effectiveness of fosphenytoin (Cerebyx) for preventing seizures.
- Methotrexate (MTX, Rheumatrex) interacts with FOLIC ACID:Methotrexate (MTX, Rheumatrex) works by decreasing the effects of folic acid in the body’s cells. Taking folic acid pills along with methotrexate might decrease the effectiveness of methotrexate (MTX, Rheumatrex).
- Phenobarbital (Luminal) interacts with FOLIC ACID:Phenobarbital (Luminal) is used for seizures. Taking folic acid can decrease how well phenobarbital (Luminal) works for preventing seizures.
- Phenytoin (Dilantin) interacts with FOLIC ACID:The body breaks down phenytoin (Dilantin) to get rid of it. Folic acid might increase how quickly the body breaks down phenytoin (Dilantin). Taking folic acid and taking phenytoin (Dilantin) might decrease the effectiveness of phenytoin (Dilantin) and increase the possibility of seizures.
- Primidone (Mysoline) interacts with FOLIC ACID: Primidone (Mysoline) is used for seizures. Folic acid might cause seizure in some people. Taking folic acid can along with primidone (Mysoline) might decrease how well primidone works for preventing seizures.
- Pyrimethamine (Daraprim) interacts with FOLIC ACID: Pyrimethamine (Daraprim) is used to treat parasite infections. Folic acid might decrease the effectiveness of pyrimethamine (Daraprim) for treating parasite infections.
5′-methyltetrahydrofolate, 5′-MTHF, Acide Folique, Acide Ptéroylglutamique, Acide Ptéroylmonoglutamique, Acido Folico, B Complex Vitamin, Complexe de Vitamines B, Complexe Vitaminique B, Dihydrofolate, Folacin, Folacine, Folate, Folinic Acid, L-methylfolate, Methylfolate, Méthylfolate, Pteroylglutamic Acid, Pteroylmonoglutamic Acid, Pteroylpolyglutamate, Tetrahydrofolate, Tétrahydrofolate, Vitamin B9, Vitamine B9.
Source: WbMD, “Folic Acid”, www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/