Folic acid, sometimes referred to as folate, is a B-vitamin found in prenatal and multi-vitamin supplements as well as in folic acid pills. Other sources of folic acid are foods such as liver, legumes, fruits, and green leafy vegetables. Folic acid is important for the overall quality of health and is said to aid in preventing or improving a number of specific ailments.
Supplements containing folic acid can help ensure that you are getting the recommended daily requirements. The Recommended Daily Allowance is 400 micrograms per day. While this amount can be obtained through foods, many people don’t get enough through their diets alone and therefore choose to use folic acid pills in addition to their dietary intake. When choosing folic acid pills, dosage is clearly an important factor. While few in the medical field worry about folic acid intake reaching toxic levels, remember that even vitamins and supplements can end up being too much of a good thing.
If you eat quite a bit of food containing folic acid, you may need lower dose folic acid pills to obtain the rest of the daily allotment. Sometimes, higher dose folic acid pills may be recommended, for specific indications.
There are studies available that link folic acid deficiency to myriad health issues. Studies have been done to show that various dosages may help improve a number of conditions from staving off Alzheimer’s disease and reducing the effects of depression and other mental disorders, to lowering the risk of heart disease and raising sperm count. If you are using folic acid pills for a specific health concern, you will want to choose tablets that provide the dosage recommended or a lesser amount that you can double up on rather than choosing one that exceeds that amount. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find the appropriate dosage and to check for drug interactions.
There are also pills that contain other supplements such as additional B vitamins, vitamin C and more. Pre-natal vitamins are designed to contain a number of necessary supplements to help ensure maternal and fetal health but there are other combinations as well. Additional supplements may also be a deciding factor in choosing which folic acid pills are best for you.
Not only may it be more cost-effective to choose a pill that contains other supplements, but you may be able to take only one pill instead of several. Many people do not enjoy taking pills, so the fewer the better. It is also a good idea to look for easy-swallow pills.