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What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid or vitamin B9 assists in the production of DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic make-up. It is especially needed during periods of rapid growth, such as in pregnancy, infancy and adolescence. Foods rich in folic acid include greens, citrus, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Folic acid is essential for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It also complements vitamin B12 in producing red blood cells and maintaining iron in the body.

All B vitamins assist the body in breaking down carbohydrates and converting them into glucose (sugar) which generates energy.

Folic acid deficiency is fairly common especially in those suffering from alcoholism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and celiac disease. Symptoms include tongue inflammation, gingivitis, poor appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhea, irritability, forgetfulness, mental sluggishness, and stunted growth.

Birth defects are more common in pregnant women with folic acid deficiency.

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