Folic acid is naturally present in most of the food items that we consume daily. A deficiency is caused by lack of proper intake of healthy food and malnourishment. It is also highly essential for pregnant women for the rapid cell development of the fetus. This could lead to deficiency which requires supplements.
Folic acid is rich in various types of food such as beetroots, liver, oranges, green leafy vegetables, peas and beans. Supplements are prescribed to people suffering from anemia and to pregnant women. Though overdose is quite uncommon, all vitamin supplements have certain side-effects.
Usually people seldom require supplements except under certain medical circumstances. It is prescribed only to patients suffering from liver diseases, alcoholics, people undergoing kidney dialysis and people with digestive problems.
According to studies, this water soluble vitamin should be consumed in an amount of 400-500 mcg per day. However, pregnant women should consume around 600 mcg per day.
Millions of people around the world consume folic acid supplements during pregnancy, dialysis and deficiency caused due to other diseases. Even though side effects are rare, any vitamin overdose has its specific side effects. Some of the common side effects of are as follows:
Skin allergies: Overdose can cause skin allergies. Breathing problems and swelling of the lips and tongue are also common reactions. Skin rashes, though rare, are other symptoms caused due to overdose.
Gastrointestinal problems: Consumption of huge amounts of it over a long period of time can cause certain stomach ailments including abdominal swelling, flatulence, nausea and loss of appetite. Some people experience these side effects even while they consume the recommended dosage.
Emotional discomfort: Overdose of folic acid can also cause emotional distress. It is also associated with irritability, hyperactivity, concentration problems, insomnia and seizures in some people.
Increase risk of heart attacks: High dosage also involves a higher risk of heart attacks for people suffering from heart diseases.
Overdose of folic acid also negates the effect of certain drugs used for epilepsy. It is also known to mask the deficiency of vitamin B12. High amounts of intake thereby prevents the detection of various other deficiencies present in the body.
Any symptoms caused due to the overdose can be treated accordingly. Diarrhea and other symptoms such as emotional discomfort are treated with subsequent medications. It is quite important to seek immediate medical help in case of an overdose of any vitamin.
It is essential for a healthy body and life. Folic acid side effects are very rare in pregnant women. The upper limit of folic acid is 1000mcg per day and the human body does not ingest more than 1000mcg as it is a water soluble vitamin which gets excreted through the urine. Nevertheless, the importance of it in our daily diet is quite undeniable.