”…BUT DOC, WHY SHOULD I TAKE FOLIC ACID SUPPLEMENTS IF I DON’T WANNA HAVE BABIES NOW?”
And, here we have one of those last minute questions, that put this particular half smile of ”really?” on my face that my friends know very well. It was one of those exhausting days but I was there, just taking a look at this recently married young girl in front of me, with her last generation smartphone (which she had been looking at every single second) and I was not gonna tell her google it!, even if it was almost 4:00pm and I was desperately wanting to leave my medical office to get some rest and eat before I could write this diary. So I tried to simply and as fast as I could explain the reasons why. Because patients are not those with patience, we docs are!!
Folic Acid is a Vitamin B9 that mainly works developing new cells. Folate can be found in food such as leafy green veggies like spinach or broccoli, citrus juices, fruits like bananas or watermelon, beans, nuts, eggs, mushrooms, liver meat, shellfish enriched grain products like many cereals, pasta, rice, bread… We call it Folic Acid when on its synthetic form in supplements.
So you will see: every childbearing woman, or women on their fertile ages (15-45 years old) according to the World Health Organization(WHO) must take at least 0,4mg of folic acid as in the majority of countries more than 40% of pregnancies occur in an unplanned moment. Translation: if you don’t know when you will get pregnant cause you are not up to control that, take the supplement to be ready at any time that occurs!
”Why is that?” Simply because it’s proven to be able of preventing genetic malformations or birth defects as high as in a 70%, working in the production of new cells of the fetus, or in the implantation of the embryo( future baby) in the uterus; also in the protection of the placenta or matrix to avoid abortion, prematurity and underweight at birth. More important it will avoid brain or spinal cord defects.
”Ok, but still, what’s there directly for women not currently trying to have a baby?” Keeping our skin healthy and the anemia prevention as it participate in the production of blood cells. Also recently some studies say it protects against heart attacks, high blood pressure during pregnancy and even good to boost our memory and fight dementia.
4:05pm, me looking exhausted and she was like: ”Then Doc, why don’t just eat a healthy diet with those folics?” It’s folates and It might be, but it’s also a fact that we don’t do that in a sufficient amount, so even if u eat a folate containing diet taking the supplement will note overdose you, or produce any harm. We utilize the folic acid but we don’t storage it, it’s hydrosoluble vitamin which means more or less that the one we don’t use will go with your urine. If it’s deficient you may have anaemia with persistent fatigue, insomnia, irritability, weak gray hair, mouth sores, tongue swelling, grows problem in kids…
”Oh!, I see, sorry it’s past 4:00pm doc,but thanks, really thanks.”
She looks at her sister(there is always a partner) and says : ”It’s good also for skin and hair, we will take it!”
hahahaha, HELP ME MY DEAR HIPPOCRATES!!!
At least she heard something and I did prescribe it for 2 instead of 1 patient … so, going getting rest a bit late was not in vain… Then I did get a charge of folate with this day’s dinner