Iron and folic acid play a key role in performing some important functions in the human body. Iron is an important mineral that is essential for proper development and growth of the human body.
Iron aids in metabolizing proteins and it also plays the key role in the formation of Red Blood Cells(RBCs) and also haemoglobin in the body and help the RBCs in transporting oxygen throughout the body.
Iron deficiency can lead to chronic anemia, insomnia, fatigue, cough and also lack of concentration and compromised immune functions.
Folic acid is also known as folate acid and vitamin B9 which plays an essential role in many bodily functions like repair and maintenance of the cells, the formation of leukocytes and also the formation of erythrocytes, DNA synthesis and amino acid metabolism.
Folic acid is not just important for pregnant women but it has multiple health benefits for men, women and children. Foods that are high in naturally occurring folate are dark green vegetables, lentils peas and dried beans.
High iron foods include liver, beef, lamb, beans, sunflower seeds, nuts, whole grains, dark leafy greens (spinach), dark chocolate, and tofu.
Iron deficiency anaemia is a common type of anemia that is a condition in which blood lacks an adequate healthy red blood cell. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient amount of iron to your body. Without enough amount of iron in your body, your body can’t produce enough of a substance known as haemoglobin which is formed in red blood cells responsible to carry oxygen to the body.
As a result at last iron deficiency anemia may leave you to feel tired and you also have shortness of breath. You can usually correct iron deficiency anemia with consuming few iron supplementations.
What Are The Causes Of Iron Deficiency Anaemia?
Generally, iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough amount of iron to produce haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein which is formed with the help of red blood cells that gives blood its red colour and also enables the red blood cells to carry oxygenated blood throughout your body.
If you are not consuming enough iron, or if you are losing too much iron, from your body, your body can’t produce enough haemoglobin, and iron deficiency anemia will eventually develop.
You are tend to lose small amounts of iron from your body in urine, faeces and dead skin cells. Much larger amounts are lost through blood. Generally blood loss can also be caused by an eroding blood vessel.
Our Blood generally contains iron within the red blood cells. So if you lose your blood, you will also lose some iron from your body.
Gastrointestinal bleeding can result in blood loss and also it can occur from regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers, especially from aspirin supplement.
A Lack Of Iron In Your Diet
Your body gets iron from the foods you eat regularly. If you consume too little amount of iron, over time your body can become iron deficient.
Some of the examples of iron-rich foods include meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables and iron-fortified foods.
For proper body growth and body development, right from a female being pregnant to infant, children and even adults need adequate amount of iron in their diet .
An Inability To Absorb Iron
Iron that is consumed from food is directly absorbed into your bloodstream that goes to your small intestine. An intestinal disorder, such as celiac disease, which affects your intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from the digested food, can lead to iron deficiency anemia.
If in stomach part of your small intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically, that may affect your ability to absorb iron and also other nutrients.
What Are The Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency?
- Extreme fatigue
- Too much weakness
- You will headache, dizziness or lightheartedness
- Your skin becomes pale
- Gets chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath occurs
- Your hands and feet become cold
- Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
- Poor appetite, especially in infants and also in children with iron deficiency anemia.
What Causes Folic Acid Or Folate Deficiency?
Folic acid is an important vitamin that is needed for the proper development of the human body. Folic acid is needed to make DNA and other genetic material and for the synthesis of RBCs.
Folic acid deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia, red blood cell disorder that can cause symptoms of weakness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, headache, abnormal heartbeats, and shortness of breath.
Folic acid is particularly important in women who are of childbearing age. Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy can lead to birth defects. Most of the people get enough folate from food. Many regular foods now have additional folate to prevent deficiency.
Nevertheless, few of the supplements are recommended for women who may become pregnant.
Folate is called as a water-soluble vitamin. It easily dissolves in water and it is not stored in your fat cells. This means that you need to keep taking folate or folic acid as your body cannot develop a reserve.
A diet that is low in fresh fruits, vegetables, and fortified cereals is one of the main causes of folate deficiency. In addition, overcooking of regular food can sometimes destroy the vitamins that contain folate.
Folate levels in your body can become low in just a few weeks if you don’t eat enough folate-rich foods.
Below are the few diseases that affect absorption in the gastrointestinal tract which can cause folic acid deficiencies. Such diseases include:
- Crohn’s disease
- Celiac disease
- Certain types of cancers
- Severe kidney problems that require dialysis.
Few people have a genetic mutation that hinders their body from properly and efficiently converting dietary or supplemental folate to its usable form, methylfolate.
What Are The Symptoms Of Folate Deficiency?
The symptoms of folate deficiency are often subtle. They include:
- Gray hair
- Mouth sores
- Tongue swelling
- Growth problems
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
Do You Want To Know Few Things About Iron And Folic acid?
Apart from the other benefits generally iron and folic acid focus on pregnant women as it gives a lot of positive benefits for baby as well as the mother. Few things you have to know about the link between iron, folic acid and pregnant women.
Folic Acid Benefits During Your Pregnancy
Folic acid is not just for the baby but it is also good for mother. It works with combination of Vitamin B12 to help form healthy red blood cells. Folic acid deficiency results in a type of anaemia.
The anaemia that you are familiar with is the deficiency of iron. Once you know you’re pregnant you should start taking a folic acid in the form of food or supplement, and all through your first trimester as well.
How Much Folic Acid Should You Be consuming?
The dosage recommended for all women above the age of 18 is 400 mcg of folate/day. If you are already taking a multivitamin every day, you must ensure that it has to be consumed in the recommended amount.
If you choose not to take a multivitamin, you could also consider taking folic acid supplements in the form of capsules.
Importance Of Iron
Whether you are pregnant or not, your body needs iron for several reasons
Iron produces haemoglobin, it is the main protein in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen to the tissues and organs.
It is also an important part of myoglobin, which is a protein that helps in supplying oxygen to the muscles, collagen which is a protein in cartilage, bones and also other connective tissue and in many enzymes. That also helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
During pregnancy, you need to have a lot more of this essential mineral. Why is this?
- The volume of blood in your body increases by 50% when you are pregnant. In order then to make more haemoglobin to keep up with this extra blood volume, you will need to consume extra iron.
- You will also need extra iron to protect your placenta and your growing baby, more specifically in the second and third trimesters.
- A lot of women may need more iron because they start their pregnancy with low stores of iron.
- Iron-deficiency or anemia during pregnancy could lead to preterm delivery, low birth weight and also even infant mortality.
Benefits Of Iron And Folic Acid For Your Body
1. Helps In Hemoglobin Formation
Proper intake of iron and folic acid rich food in your diet can help in formation of haemoglobin that is necessary for carrying oxygen throughout the body and it also provides dark red colour to the blood.
As you know deficiency of iron and folic acid can result in anemia. It can affect not only women but children and elderly people too.
If you always feel weak and tired or symptom like a headache, palpitation and pain in the chest, get your haemoglobin count checked. Maybe you are anaemic.
As you know iron and folate both are essential for the formation of red blood cells make sure you eat enough iron and folic acid rich foods to allow the flow of enough blood pumping through the veins.
2. Essential During Pregnancy
Women who are willing to conceive or who are already pregnant iron and folic acid supplement are generally prescribed for a safe and successful pregnancy.
Both iron and folic acid are essential for the growth of the fetus. Deficiency of folic acid can also increase the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.
To ensure proper blood circulation a pregnant woman needs enough iron and folic acid in her blood. Deficiency of folic acid and iron can lead to premature delivery, paralysis, brain damage, gaps in the development of the spinal cord or stillborn child.
Generally Iron deficiency during pregnancy can cause health problems to both you and the growth of your baby. You may feel fatigue, cardiovascular stress, and lower resistance to infection and reduce work capacity.
If you have low level of iron during pregnancy your health care provider or your doctor may recommend higher dose than required daily supplement which is up to 16 to 20 mg.
3. For Muscle Function
Iron is an important mineral for muscle health. A muscle protein is known as myoglobin which is required for the contraction of muscles that carries oxygen from haemoglobin and circulates it throughout the muscle cells.
It also helps in forming DNA. Proteins supply the building blocks you need to build your body mass, but without this folic acid, your body cannot access many of these amino-acid building blocks.
As a B vitamin, folic acid is indispensable in many enzyme systems that your body needs to build the much-needed proteins.
Though not an enzyme itself, folic acid supports enzymes in their work, it has a role referred to in medical parlance as a coenzyme. This explains why folic acid is popular among all the bodybuilders.
4. Keeps Heart Healthy
Folic acid helps the heart to function optimally and also to stay healthy. Folic acid by pairing with vitamin B12 acts as a coenzyme that lowers the levels of homocysteine, a toxic compound.
That can lead blood to clot, damage artery and also it can increase the risk of heart disease, coronary complication and stroke.
Folic acid decreases homocysteine levels and also helps in the prevention of atherosclerosis and heart attacks.
5. Helps During Menstruation
Those who experience heavy flow and pain during menstruation often feel exhausted and observe severe pain in abdomen and around the waist.
This could be due to deficiency of iron and folic acid in body. Consuming foods high in iron and folic acid can help you bring relief from this condition.
If you experience this type of symptoms, consult your physician whether you need to take the supplement or no.
6. Reduces Risk Of Cancer
Low level of iron and folic acid in the blood has been linked to the colorectal and prostate cancer and some other type of cancer. Consuming foods rich in iron & folic acids can help to control their risk.
Generally high dietary folate intake reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. Folic acid helps keep the DNA healthy and may also prevent mutations that can cause cancer.
Can You Take Folic Acid & Iron At The Same Time?
Folic acid is a vitamin and iron is a mineral, but your body needs both of these nutrients. Each serves a different purpose critical for life.
Some vitamins, such as prenatal vitamins and multivitamins, contain both of these nutrients in addition to many other nutrients because it is OK to take iron and folic acid at the same time.
Check with your health care provider to see if taking supplements is right for you. While you can take folic acid and iron together that are very useful for your body.
I hope you all got to know the benefits of iron and folic acid. Apart from providing all the benefits it can also reduce stress level at your workplace, and mainly helps in pregnancy.
You can serve this iron and folic acid capsules for people suffering from few diseases as mentioned above and especially for pregnant women.
This will not only cure the problem but also give strength to the body in general. Now for what are you waiting? Go grab your INLIFE™ Iron Folic Acid Supplement bottle and enjoy the benefits of it!