The debate around the basic of taking dietary supplements is continuing to rage.
While many healthcare professionals maintain we get all we require from the foods we eat, others prefer to suggest vitamins when their patients are under a stress such as a pregnancy or illness or even aging or when the patient’s body’s function is deficient or overloaded. Others maintain that vitamins are preventative and should be taken routinely to prevent diseases and maintain health.
Studies maintain that taking extra B vitamins, specifically folic acid and B12 have reduced birth defects by 72 to 100% . And since regulations authourising the addition of folic acid to grains have come into force in the USA the incidence of birth defects their have dropped by 19%, although sceptics claim there could be alternative reasons.
So what are some of the symptoms of folic acid deficiency? If your tongue is sore and you suffer from loss of appetite, “shortness of puff”, are irritable, forgetful and mentally sluggish, you may have a folic acid insufficiency. Folic acid is one of the B group of vitamins and most animal and plant foods are poor sources of it. The exception is liver which most individuals don’t eat a lot of these days. Various dietary habits and health conditions can also result in causing a deficiency of this vitamin. Celiac condition, alcoholism and irritable bowel syndrome are three such conditions.
Studies have also suggested that when older people suffer from “the blues” it is caused by a absence of folate (B9) . It should be taken alongside B6 and B12 to support its absorption and function in the body. These three vitamins work closely together and help relieve symptoms of depression. They do this by decreasing the total amount of homocysteine, which is thought to play an major part in causing the depression. Occasionally the amount of folate in proportion to the other two may be required to be increased in order to be effective. Solgar Homocystein Modulators are a good supplement to take and can be found online at www.solgar.co.uk.
Some population-based studies across the USA have also established that numerous cancers are less usual in people who have high levels of folic acid. These people also consumed high amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber. One large study of 50,000 women established that adequate intakes of folate essentially reduced the risk of breast melanoma.
Some prescription medications for inflammatory bowel illness have been found to interfere with the bodies ability to absorb folate (folic acid) and the deficiency has also been linked to some men’s infertility and heart complaints.
Foods that offer the most folic acid are dark leafy greens, brewers yeast, cows liver, some seafood, orange juice and dairy. Root vegetables and whole grains also supply small amounts.
Side effects from folic acid supplements are rare, though they can occur if the dose exceeds 15000 mcg . Taking any one of the B group of vitamins on their own can produce a deficiency in the others, so don’t be too keen to buy without advice. Check out if you really do need it and make sure your health care practised knows your purpose in order to grasp why you want to take these supplements. Some prescription medicines such as antibiotics and warfarin can react adversely to this health programme, while others like ibuprofen and aspirin can actually cause a deficiency. Methotrexate, prescribed to treat some cancer and rheumatoid arthritis conditions increases the body’s need for folic acid, and its side-effects are greatly reduced by addition of this vitamin without impairing its results, so if you must take this medication be sure see your healthcare professional about adding folic acid to your diet – it could save you experiencing further side-effects .