May prevent heart disease. Promotes normal red-blood-cell formation. Regulates
fetal development of nerve cells. Maintains nervous system, intestinal tract,
sex organs, white blood cells, normal patterns of growth. Treats anemias due
to folic-acid deficiency occurring from alcoholism, liver disease, hemolytic
anemia, sprue, pregnancy, breast feeding, and oral contraceptive use.
Good food sources:
Oranges, orange juice, rice, soybeans, wheat germ, fruits, beans, leafy vegetables,
Don't take if you have pernicious anemia or take anti-convulsant medication.
Decreases the effects of folic acid: analgesics, anti-convulsants, chloramphenicol,
cortisone drugs, methotrexate, oral contraceptives, quinine, sulfa drugs, trimethoprim,
trimterene. Folic acid decreases the effect of these prescription drugs: phenytoin
Signs of toxicity: Very low toxicity.
* Women of childbearing age should take a daily multivitamin containing 400 mcg.
Pregnant women should get 800 mcg.
* Folic acid may help in the prevention and treatment of cervical dysplasia (precancerous
cells in the cervix). Women with this condition usually have low levels of folate.
* Folate deficiency may be partially responsible for restless legs syndrome.
* It reduces the body's levels of homocysteine, an artery-damaging chemical that
accumulates in the blood of people who eat meat, and may prevent heart disease
* May also prevent cancers of the lung and colon.
* Increase the folate in the diet if you use any of the following: alcohol, tobacco,
aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives, pancreatic
extracts, estrogen, antacids, arthritis drugs such as methotrexate and medications
prescribed for convulsions, malaria and bacterial infections. Also if over 55
years of age, undergoing renal dialysis, suffering from an
illness or recovering from surgery.