Vitamin B6 or folic Acid is one of the more important vitamins required for various functions of the body and, most importantly, it is essential for the synthesis of DNA by the body. Leafy vegetables are rich sources of folate, as are fruits, green vegetables, legumes and egg yolk. When the dietary folate intake is below the required level, the deficiency might lead to several health complications such as diarrhea, anaemia and also some forms of neural defects and disorders.
Vitamin B6 supplements are available in the market as Pyridoxine hydrochloride in tablet form from 10 milligrams to 200 milligrams and also capsules of 500 milligrams. It is best to consult a Medical Practitioner and follow the advice regarding folic acid supplement intake.
If the desired effects are not noticed from Pyridoxine hydrochloride intake, the alternate supplemental composition would be pyridoxal-5-phosphate. The former might be the case if the person has some pre-existing liver condition.
The recommended dietary intake of Folate for adults is 400 micrograms per day while for children it is around 150 micrograms per day. Supplements usually are used in combination with the other B Complex Vitamins. Certain medical conditions require intake to help in the treating folate deficiency and it also aids in the recovery process.
• Alcoholics are usually diagnosed with folate deficiency and the deficiency is also believed to result in anaemia in some cases.
• Supplements have been found to lower Homocysteine levels, closely linked to cardio vascular diseases. Ongoing research and clinical trials point to the positive effects supplements have on reducing the risk of cardio vascular diseases by reducing the levels of the amino acid, Homocysteine.
• Supplements are believed to moderate the undesired side effects of the drug Methotrexate, commonly used for treating cancer, without interfering with its effectiveness in treating the disease.
• Intake during pregnancy is believed to decrease the risk of birth defects in the foetus.
• Research findings point at some of the undesired side effects of folic acid supplement intake which include higher risk of breast cancer in women. Clinical tests conducted on rats have revealed that intake of folic acid supplements during pregnancy and during lactation increases the risk of breast cancer.
• Research has shown that folic acid supplements have the capacity to prevent some forms of cancer while serving as the triggers for few others.
• You should also be careful while taking Folic acid supplements along with certain prescription drugs which can cancel out the effect of the drugs, making them ineffective. Folic acid supplements might interfere with the action of Phenobarbital, Primidone, Flourouracil and Phenytoin on the body.
• Iron and folic acid supplements have negative effects on children below five years of age resulting in increased mortality on account of malarial infection.
Folic acid supplements may be effective for few conditions while for others it might prove counter productive. Supplements should be consumed in moderation and only after consultating with a medical practitioner about the requirement and dosage.