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Vitamin M or Folic Acid ... 
...Folic Acid also known as folate, folatin, vitamin M, vitamin Bc and pteroylglutamic.

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin also known as folate, folatin, vitamin M, vitamin Bc and pteroylglutamic acid.

This takes its name from foliage as it was first found in dark green, leafy vegetables.

Unfortunately, folic acid is destroyed by high temperatures and cooking with acids such as vinegar.  This vitamin is also decreased when stored for long periods of time at room temperature or when exposed to light.  A large percentage of this vitamin is also lost into cooking water.

Folic acid is not produced by the body, but the liver converts it to folinic acid, with the assistance of vitamin C, and can then store it.

No actual toxicity has been reported, but intakes over 15mg a day may cause nausea, wind, irritability and loss of appetite in susceptible people.   Also a high daily intake of folic acid may mask the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to nerve degeneration if not corrected.

This vitamin is found in foods such as eggs and fish, green leafy vegetables, peas and avocado.  Other significant food sources of folic acid are nuts, organ meats, wheatgerm and asparagus and liver.

Folic acid is a well known vitamin that is required by the body for pregnancy and lactating, the production and development of red blood cells and the breakdown and utilisation of proteins.

The formation of haem (the iron containing substance found in haemoglobin) and the formation of RNA and other nucleic acids (needed for growth and reproduction of body cells) both require this vitamin.

There are several important nutrients that are required along side folic acid.  These are the B complex vitamins, especially vitamin B5, vitamin B12 and biotin (vitamin H), plus manganese, vitamin C, PABA and zinc.

As many women may hear, you may need to take extra folic acid whilst pregnant or lactating.

However all the B vitamins should be taken together and never separately, to avoid deficiency symptoms from occuring.

But if you suffer from stress, smoke, drink alcohol, have had an injury or illness or are ageing, then the requirements of this vitamin may also need to be increased.

There are also certain drugs that may need an increase on the intake of this vitamin such as aspirin, lipid lowering drugs, oral contraceptives, oestrogen, tramterene and other diuretics.

However, supplemental folic acid can decrease the effectiveness of drugs such as phenytoin, sulphonamides and trimethoprim anti-infectives, so it would be advisable to take this vitamin under supervision in these circumstances.

Nutritional Vitamin Supplements

   o  Maximol (liquid vitamins and minerals)

   o  Orachel (multi-vitamin oral chelation formula)

Other Nutritional Information

   o  Specific Vitamins and their benefits
o  The role of Vitamins in our bodies

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