Updated: 2017, Dec 21

Folic Acid: Health Benefits, Side Effects & Recommendations

Folic Acid

Folic acid refers to the B9 vitamin, which is also known as folate. It plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells, prevent anemia and also promote the development and maintenance of DNA in the cells.

Sources of Folic Acid

Your body cannot synthesize folic acid, and thus it has to be obtained from other dietary sources. You can get it from leafy vegetables, legumes, egg yolk, avocados, kidney and the liver. Some fruits and vegetables also contain moderate amounts of folic acid.

Health Benefits of Folic Acid

One of the best recognized and known benefits of folic acid is its ability to avert neural tube defects in pregnant moms, and other health issues, such as congenital heart defects, and irregular urinary tract problems, if consumed either before or after conception. Additionally, folic acid reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease. Surprisingly, folic acid deficit has some links to depression.

Body Building Benefits of Folic Acid

Your body needs folic acid to promote repair and growth of muscle tissues. Being water soluble and easily destroyed by heat, many people suffer from a mild deficiency. By consuming supplements, it will be a confident way for ensuring that your body gets adequate levels of folic acid necessary to build muscles efficiently and help in weight loss.

Side Effects

If you consume folic acid in excess, it can mask the effects of other vitamin B deficiencies. But the good news is that there are no known side effects associated with the use of folic acid.


In a day, the recommended dose of folic acid should be 400 micrograms. However, it can be supplemented up to 1000 micrograms. Since it can cause some interactions, it is recommendable to consume folic acid along with a formulated B vitamin supplement. You can purchase folic acid alone, but mostly it comes combined with multivitamins and minerals.


If you want to keep your body well and in shape, folic acid should be the right choice. Its role in promoting the development of muscle cells can go a long way in helping you to lose the extra pounds. Furthermore, science is yet to come up with a single side effect from the use of folic acid. Since it comes in combination with other minerals and vitamins, it is an assurance that it will cater for most of your body requirements. There is no harm in trying out this essential supplement.

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