Dr Prem Global Healthcare Logo

Benefits of folic acid for women

eating leafy green vegetables

Women are usually prescribed folic acid on a regular basis during their pregnancy. However, the benefits of folic acid for women extend beyond this ten month period. Here is a brief overview of the manifold benefits a woman stands to gain by taking folic acid regularly.

What is Folic Acid

lady with fruit bowl

Folic acid is a form of folate, a water soluble substance that is a type of B vitamin commonly found in fruits and leafy green vegetables. It is the synthetic form of this folic acid that is used in several fortified foods and dietary supplements. Given below are some of the benefits of folic acid for women.

Helps reduce birth defects

lady giving birth

One of the main reasons doctors prescribe folic acid supplements for pregnant women is that folate is considered very essential in reducing the risks of birth defects associated with the brain and spinal cord of the developing baby. Called neural tube defects, these conditions (spine malformation-spinal bifida and brain defect – anencephaly) can affect the growth of the infant considerably. Folic acid helps stimulate the proper development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord and protects them from these anomalies. Studies indicate that regular intake of folic acid supplements reduce the baby’s risks of developing these defects by at least 50-70 percent.

Many doctors even urge young women of reproductive age to take folic acid supplements irrespective of whether they are pregnant or not. The reason for this is that the best effects of folic acid are felt in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. However, in the standard scenario, a woman may not realize she is pregnant until after the 8th week or so. As such, taking about 400 mg of folic acid along with the daily diet can help protect a baby from neural tube birth defects even before the pregnancy is detected by the mother.

Reduced pregnancy related complications


Although pregnancy is a relatively smooth process, there are chances for women to contract certain complications that may affect them as well as their babies. Two of the most common complications often reported in women are early labor and pre-eclampsia. Folic acid helps curb both of these conditions effectively and reduces the risks posed to the baby due to the same. Eating folic acid is therefore recommended to remain healthy and fit during pregnancy as well as thwart the possibilities of a premature delivery.

Improved cell growth

 pregnant lady eating

It is a known fact that folic acid helps improve the production of new cells in the body. Studies have also related folic acid to provide the necessary strength needed by the cells to resist the changes in the DNA caused by cancerous cells.

Helps produce new blood cells

blood cells

Folic acid is a very essential component in the production of new blood cells in the body. In fact, the healthy production of red blood cells depends to a great extent on the adequate levels of folate in the body. Deficiencies in folic acid can therefore lead to reduced number of red blood cells in the body, thereby increasing the risks of contracting conditions like anemia.

Reduced heart related risks

Healthy Heart

With time, the body becomes more vulnerable to heart diseases and strokes. Research has indicated that women who take folic acid supplements regularly face lower risks of being affected by these conditions. Hence, a daily dose of folic acid would ensure that the heart remains healthy and fit for years to come.

Other benefits for folic acid

kidney Health

In addition to all these health benefits, folic acid is also known to treat several other conditions in women like hypertension, digestive problems, liver diseases, kidney problems and certain neurological disorders.


It is deemed essential for women of reproductive age to take folic acid either in the natural or supplement form on a daily basis. Folic acid offers the above mentioned health benefits which would help the body and mind remain healthy, both during pregnancy and afterwards.

Recent Articles:

Scroll to Top