Folic Acid is an essential vitamin for the human body as it is derived from Vitamin B. All of the B Vitamins help the body convert food into energy making up your metabolism. There are eight types of Vitamin b and out of these Folate, the natural form of B-9, is responsible for DNA replication, metabolic processes, and proper cell division.
Folate becomes folic acid after it has been synthesized and put into supplements and fortified foods. Foods like rice, pasta, bread, and some breakfast cereals contain this synthesized version of folate. The synthesized version is easier to digest and absorb, providing many benefits that will be discussed throughout this blog.
Benefits to the Female Reproductive System
Folate that has become folic acid has several benefits for women including decreased depression and anxiety. After women hit puberty it is important to continue, or start taking vitamins and supplements. If you do not receive enough vitamins from naturally occurring sources like fruits and vegetables, supplementing can be a great way to ensure you are absorbing them. Folic acid in particular can benefit young and maturing females by decreasing depression, anemia, and heart disease.
Other benefits of getting extra folic acid include maintaining brain health, reducing mental disorders, and it can help with mental health conditions like: postpartum depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. This is extremely important because folic acid is severely depleted in those who take medications and are pregnant. If you are experiencing any abnormal mood changes during puberty or pregnancy, check to see if nutrient depletion from your diet or from medications you are taking may be the cause.
Folic Acid Intake During Puberty
As a young women matures and gets her first period, taking folic acid can help her stay healthy and strong. Common symptoms of PMS include depressed mood, tension or anxiety, appetite changes, and trouble concentrating. Of Course all women are different, some will experience really awful PMS symptoms, while others will be completely fine. It is still recommended if you don’t experience horrible symptoms to take supplements to maintain overall body health.
If you do experience really horrible period or PMS symptoms, start by taking folic acid everyday. Folic acid is known to reduce most PMS side effects since it also encourages proper red blood cell production and can help with anemia. A woman will lose blood and feel weak or nauseous during her period. Folic acid and other herbal remedies can help.
Is Pure Folic Acid Good For Pregnant Women?
When a woman is pregnant, folic acid is an essential supplement that can benefit the newly developing child. Pregnant women are known to become naturally folate deficient during their pregnancies. Getting enough folic acid can help prevent birth defects including spina bifida and anencephaly. It will also reduce the chance of other pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and preterm birth.
Studies have shown that increasing pure folic acid levels can help women who are trying to conceive if taken at a high enough dose. Pure folic acid in combination with fertility medications has shown positive results with conceiving.
The recommended dose is between 400 mcg -900 mcg of pure folic acid for pregnant women because too much excess folic acid can build up in your blood. Since your liver is responsible for processing the folic acid, following a proper diet and eating foods high in folate can help digest and absorb the extra folic acid.
If you are not yet ready for pregnancy, folic acid can be a great dietary supplement for young teens and adults who take oral contraceptives known as “BC” or birth control.
How Oral Contraceptives Deplete Female Vitamin Levels
Oral Contraceptives are a big factor in changing young girls, and women’s moods. They make several women extremely moody, anxious, tired, and depressed. Studies have shown that a plethora of vital nutrients and vitamins such as, folic acid, vitamins B2, B6, B12, vitamin C and E, magnesium, selenium and zinc are depleted in females taking OC’s. If you are unable to switch contraceptive methods, following the recommendations below can help reverse any terrible side effects.
Get Folate From Your Food
Foods that naturally contain Vitamin B-9 Include:
- dark green leafy vegetables
- Citrus fruits
- beef liver
- orange juice
If you are not consuming any of these Items currently do not worry because they can be easily added to your current diet. Something simple like making smoothies in the morning, can help increase your daily Vitamin B-9 (folate) intake. Try adding half an avocado or some kale and spinach to up your smoothie nutritional benefits. Incorporating more fruits and veggies in your diet as a female is super important because of hormone fluctuations.
Taking Folic Acid as a Supplement
An easy way to up your levels of folic acid is by taking supplements derived from the original source folate. The recommended dosage for a young woman is 300 mcg DFE. If you are unfamiliar with these abbreviations, mcg stands for a microgram of DFE which means Dietary Folate Equivalent.
Adults typically need around 400 mcg DFE and a pregnant woman should take around 600 mcg since they are typically deficient.
Refer to this chart below for recommended Intake:
“Folic Acid: Importance, Deficiencies, and Side Effects.” Edited by Jillian Kubala and Adam Felman, Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 14 Sept. 2022, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219853.
Get more Information to Plan Your Pregnancy
If you found this blog helpful in describing some of the ways taking supplements can help with overall body function and women’s sexual health, schedule an appointment with Midwife 360 today. Midwife 360 is run by an amazing team of midwives that practice women’s health, holistic gynecology, women’s care, doula services, family planning, home birth, water birth, and pregnancy services. It is never to early or late to receive proper women’s health care and find out ways you can support your body.