If there is a deficiency in folic acid, cells are no longer capable of dividing and multiplying properly, which may have severe consequences in particular for quickly growing tissue (bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, etc.) and also for fetal growth. A folic acid deficiency during pregnancy is also regarded as being linked with certain malformations of the child (e. g. neural tube defects, spina bifida).
Although folic acid is contained in a large number of foods, it is the vitamin of which the greatest deficiency exists worldwide. This is mainly due to one-sided nutrition: Most animal products (except for liver) contain only little folic acid while plant-based food rich in folic acid is often not eaten in sufficient quantities.
In addition, alcohol and a number of medicines such as estrogens, barbiturates, sulpha salicin, etc. inhibit the folic acid metabolism, moreover, folic acid is not very heat resistant or photostable.
It is estimated nowadays that a daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid alone could reduce the incidence of cardiac infarction in the industrialized countries by about ten percent. Due to the complicated interactions between the various vitamins, however, it makes more sense to supplement not only folic acid. The vitamins B12 and B6 should also be ingested in sufficient quantities.
A deficiency in folic acid mainly affects quickly growing tissue. It therefore has particularly critical consequences in pregnancy. In this connection, certain malformations of the child could be associated with this maternal vitamin deficiency. A deficiency in folic acid can, in particular, increase the incidence of neural tube defects and spina bifida (cleft spine) and therefore attention should be paid to a sufficient intake of folic acid in early pregnancy.
In medicine, the amino acid homologue homocysteine has been given great attention in the past few years. The homocysteine metabolism is in this respect closely connected with folic acid and vitamin B12. If these vitamins are deficient, the homocysteine level in blood increases as the amino acid can no longer be transformed back to methionine. Recent studies have shown that there is a significant connection between increased homocysteine levels and a deficiency in folic acid and vitamin B12. It was even possible to lower the homocysteine values in persons with a normal homocysteine level when they were administered folic acid and vitamin B12.
Increased homocysteine levels in blood have proven to be independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. According to numerous recent investigations, an increase in homocysteine also increases the risk of cardiac infarction, stroke and peripheral vascular diseases. Moreover, increased homocysteine levels are found in 20 to 40 percent of the patients suffering from coronary heart disease.
Apart from its importance as a cardiovascular risk factor homocysteine also seems to have a central role in the development of the postmenopausal osteoporosis. The most recent studies have shown that increased homocysteine levels impair cross-linking of the collagen fibers in bones which then causes damage to the bone matrix. In future, the administration of folic acid to prevent osteoporosis could therefore become more important.
One capsule contains 800 mcg folic acid (vitamin B11) in pharmaceutical grade. Other ingredients: rice flour, magnesium stearate.
In normal cases take 1 capsule daily with plenty of fluid as a food supplement and to prevent a deficiency. To prevent atherosclerosis and osteoporosis it is mostly recommended to take 800 mcg of folic acid per day. To treat cervical dysplasia and depression, it is generally recommended to take 10 mg of folic acid per day.
The recommended daily dosage should not be exceeded.