What Is Ferrous Sulfate & Folic Acid? - Benefits & Side Effects

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You must have come across folic acid and ferrous sulfate being prescribed to women who want to get pregnant, but have you considered the possible benefits and side effects of it? Doctors recommend folic acid not only for women but also to treat iron deficiency and anemia.

It has certain benefits and can also be taken when one is getting cancer treatment, or suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis. 

In this blog, we are going to explore the in and out of Ferrous Sulfate and Folic Acid, its benefits, dosage, and side effects. We will also dive into the natural forms of this nutrient.

Ferrous Sulfate: Benefits

A ferrous sulfate is a form of iron that is responsible for carrying oxygen and storing oxygen in your organs and muscle cells. Some of the benefits of Ferrous sulfate are explained below.

Ferrous Sulfate Benefits

Helps When You Are Suffering From Anaemia

Anemia or as we know it when your red blood cell count drops and has weakness all over the body. Iron deficiency Anemia is a serious condition and requires the patient to consume iron supplements to make things normal and functioning in their bodies.

Improve Iron Levels In The Body

Ferrous Sulfate supplements help increase the levels of iron in the body and play a big part in the development of the nervous system. When the iron levels are improved the basic cell functioning in the body is also improved, which leads to harmony in the bodily functions.

Reduce The Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency

Symptoms like fatigue, frequent headaches, weakness, brittle nails, or an upset stomach indicate iron deficiency. Studies have found that people taking Ferrous sulfate supplements can see visible results in reduced symptoms of iron deficiency.

Increases Post-Surgery Recovery 

Often surgeries result in huge blood loss which can be dangerous to your health. The after-effects of surgery come with a lot of restrictions and complications to your health. Ferrous sulfate not only increases your blood count but also provides you strength for full recovery in a short time.

Ferrous Sulfate: Dosage And Sources

The recommended dosage of ferrous sulfate is 65 mg daily, depending upon the purpose of these supplements. There are packaged bottles of ferrous sulfate available in the market with the recommended dosage, but it would be safe to discuss it with your healthcare provider once.

Natural sources of ferrous sulfate include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, shellfish, legumes, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Side Effects Of Ferrous Sulfate

There are instances where ferrous sulfate can also interfere with the existing medications and cause you damage. Be sure to understand the benefits and side effects of taking ferrous sulfate supplements by your doctor.

This will give you a heads-up to seek medical help when things go south. The common repercussions of ferrous sulfate are:

  • Vomiting extensively
  • Extreme stomach pain
  • Coughing with bloody mucus
  • Blood in stools
  • Always feeling constipated
  • Loss of hunger
  • Green stools
  • Heartburn

Folic Acid: Benefits

Folic acid is a form of folate, commonly known as the B-9 vitamin that helps in producing the red blood cells in our body. The potential benefits of folic acid are explained below:

Helps To Manage Folate Deficiency

Folate deficiency is a result of regular dialysis, pregnancy, celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, or alcohol. When these circumstances occur, it is important to take supplements of folic acid for treatment and recovery. Folic acid is also effective when suffering from impaired immune function, depression, or anemia.

A Must-Have For Fertility Treatment

Folic acid helps improve the egg quality in women for proper fertilization of the egg in the uterus. Doctors often recommend taking folic acid before you start to get pregnant to prepare the eggs and increase the chances of conceiving a baby.

Manages Pregnancy Complications

Often pregnancy complications can occur because of loss of iron in the body and insufficient B9 vitamins. In this case, there are chances that your baby may be born with spina bifida or anencephaly.

These complications can be prevented with the use of folic acid. Another complication preeclampsia during pregnancy can be avoided with folic acid. 

Improves Brain Health

Studies have shown that people suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Schizophrenia, or mild cognitive impairment have low levels of folate in them.

To reverse or manage the symptoms of these diseases, one can take the recommended folic acid dosage after consulting with the doctor. Individuals suffering from postpartum depression can also benefit from folic acid.

Folic Acid: Recommended Dosage And Natural Sources

The dosage of folic acid depends on the purpose of consuming it. Whether it is for pregnancy, mental health conditions, or general health, you should check with your healthcare provider. If you are not keen on taking the supplements you can add these to your diet:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Beef liver
  • Avocado
  • Beet
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Asparagus

Folic Acid: Side Effects

Often the side effects of folic acid are mild and can be bearable. But you should seek medical help when there is a severe case. The potential risks of consuming folic acid are:

  • Increased risks of Autism spectrum disorder in children when there is unmetabolized folic acid in the mother’s blood.
  • Increased risk of prostate cancer
  • Lowers immune function of the body
  • Abdominal cramps or gastrointestinal conditions
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling weak
  • Might result in skin rashes
  • Insomnia or difficulty in falling asleep

Conclusion

Ferrous sulfate and folic acid are both pillars of healthy brain development and pregnancy. Doctors recommend these during and after pregnancy as well for improved cognitive skills and bone development in babies.

Including the natural sources of folic acid and ferrous sulfate is also considered to be beneficial for overall health and helps to keep diseases away.

Along with that, remember to follow a healthy diet, sleep schedule, and exercise to maintain harmony in bodily functions. Consult with your nutritionist or doctor before starting on a new medication or health supplements.

References:

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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