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Precautions: Excessive Folic Acid Intake

Monday, May 23, 2011

After reading Tanya Jolilliffe's Folic Acid Important for Health, I researched one of her sources that lead me to another source and I decided to comment her blog with my own blog. I have past the childbearing age where the vitamin can really be effective in the production and multiplication of life, however, I found other information from her sources that comments on the necessity of folic acid for older adults. If older adults are taking folic acid as a supplement, they should be concerned and watchful, conscience that they not exceed the dosage as an excessive amount can lead to a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency in older people increases the risk of dementia" (Sohn,2009).

'Caution About Folic Acid Supplements', the informative subtitle from the ODS fact sheet, the other source that I was guided to, provides a warning that "folic acid supplementation can correct anemia associated with Vitamin B12 deficiency. However and unfortunately, if a Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs within the Nervous System and if left untreated, the nervous system can be permanently damaged and the folic acid supplementation will not make the correction" (Haslam, N. & Probert, CS., 1998). The ODS also provides a list of signs one of which is bullited as "the subtle signs of folate deficiency are digestive disorders, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, forgetfulness and behavorial disorders" (Herbert, V., 1999).

"Folic Acid is an essential in the formation and the repair of DNA (Sohn,E., May 11,2009) "and RNA, the building blocks of cells. Folate prevent changes to DNA that might lead to cancer" (Fenech, M., Aitken, C., & Rinaldi J., 1998). It helps prevent the development of colon cancer. Another plus is that folic acid and folate protects against anemia and it keeps hair, nails and skin healthy as it helps the body make and maintain new cells"(Sohn, 2009).

Tanya states, and I searched for the confirmation via her sources that folic acid is the synthic version of folate, or B9, one of the eight (8) B Vitamins. I am repeating it because repeation will help me remember the difference and the similarity. "Folic Acid the synthetic, laboratory production is added to grains, bread, cereals and other foods while folate, can be, and when eaten, is found naturally in leafy greens, legumes, beans, oranges, and orange juice".

I have noticed from reading and copying the nutritional information from the food packaging to the nutritional tracking page that the information lists one or the other of them, folic acid or folate, and I was simply assuming they were related; now I know and I can appreciate the manufacturers' honesty about the information on the side, back, or front of the food packaging.

Sohn, Emily, May 11, 2009, http://www.latimes.com/feature
s/health/la-he-folate retreived 5/22/11

ct sheets/folate retreived 5/22/11
Fenech, M., Aitcken, C., Rinaldi, J., Folate,Vitamin B12, Homocysteine Status and DNA Damage in Young Australian Adults. Carcinogenesis 1998; 19:1163-71[PubMed abstract]

Haslam, N. & Probert, CS. An Audit of the Investigation & Treatment of Folic Acid Deficiency. JR Soc Med 1998; 91:72-3 [PubMed abstract]

Herbert V. Folic Acid. In: Shils, M., Olson, J., Shike, M., Ross, AC., ed. Nutrition in Health & Disease. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1999
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