More recently, vitamin B9 (folic acid) was considered the most female, but recent research suggests its need and strong sex.
Vitamin B9 belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins. Vitamin B9 actually refers to a group of related compounds: folic acid, folacin, folates. Folic acid itself was obtained from spinach leaves in 1941, and was first chemically synthesized in 1946.
About 50% of folic acid is lost during long-term storage and in the light, and during heat treatment, up to 90% of the folic acid contained in raw food is destroyed.
The role of folic acid
Folic acid takes an active part in the processes of regulation of the functions of the blood-forming organs, positively influences the functions of the intestines and the liver, supports the immune system, participates in the redox processes in the body, contributes to the normal formation and functioning of white blood cells.
Also, vitamin B9 is necessary for protein biosynthesis, has a positive effect on the productive work of the brain, especially the bone, supports the immune system, helps to absorb other B vitamins, helps level pigmentation.
Folic acid plays an important role in pregnancy. It regulates the creation and maintenance of new cells in a healthy state, which is very important at the stage of the formation of the fetus and in early childhood, prevents premature birth and the birth of premature babies, helps to overcome postpartum depression.
In high doses, folic acid has an estrogen-like effect, slowing the onset of menopause and alleviating its symptoms, making it possible to correct sexual development in adolescent girls.
Regular consumption of the recommended dose of vitamin B9 reduces the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disorders, normalizes blood pressure and reduces blood cholesterol levels.
Daily need for folic acid
The recommended daily intake of vitamin A is:
- for adults 200 mcg
- for pregnant women 200-300 mcg
- for nursing mothers 200-400 mcg
- for children, depending on age and gender 100-200 mcg
- for babies 40-60 mcg
Folic acid is best taken with vitamins C and B12.
The use of antiepileptic, anti-tuberculosis, nitrofuran preparations, as well as aspirin in large doses can lead to a deficiency of folic acid.
When taking oral contraceptives, antihyperlipidemic agents, antimetabolites, sulfonamides, alcohol-containing drugs, antacids and modern anti-ulcer drugs, folic acid absorption is impaired.
Prolonged use of folic acid in large doses can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.
Symptoms of folic acid deficiency
- loss of appetite
- labored breathing
- memory problems
- digestive disorders
- abdominal pain
- nausea and diarrhea
- mouth and throat ulcers
- graying hair
- skin changes
- hair loss
- growth slowdown
- birth defects of offspring
Prolonged and significant excess of the recommended doses can cause dangerous accumulation of folacin crystals, which leads to intoxication of the body, with such side effects as vomiting, abdominal distension, flatulence and night sleep disorders.
In epileptics, muscle cramps are possible.
Sources of folic acid
Legumes, green leafy vegetables, wheat sprouts and yeast, cereals, bran, buckwheat and oat groats, legumes, citrus fruits (especially pomelo and grapefruits), yeast, nuts, bananas, melons, apricots, pumpkins, dates, mushrooms, beetroot, bread.
Liver, beef, lamb, pork, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products, fish.
Synthesis in the body
It is synthesized by colon microorganisms, which contributes to this additional intake of bifidobacteria.