Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folic acid (folic acid deficiency), as well as its complications, including “tired blood” (anemia) and the inability of the bowel to absorb nutrients properly. Folic acid is also used for other conditions commonly associated with folic acid deficiency, including ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, and kidney dialysis.
Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant take folic acid to preventmiscarriage and “neural tube defects,” birth defects such as spina bifida that occur when the fetus’s spine and back don’t close during development.Some people use folic acid to prevent colon cancer or cervical cancer.
It is also used to prevent heart disease and stroke, as well as to reduce blood levels of a chemical called homocysteine. High homocysteine levels might be a risk for heart disease.Folic acid is used for memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related hearing loss, preventing the eye disease agerelated macular degeneration (AMD), reducing signs of aging, weak bones (osteoporosis), jumpy legs (restless leg syndrome), sleepproblems, depression, nerve pain, muscle pain, AIDS, a skin disease called vitiligo, and an inherited disease called FragileX syndrome.
It is also used for reducing harmful side effects of treatment with the medications lometrexol and methotrexate.Some people apply folic acid directly to the gum for treating gum infections.Folic acid is often used in Combination with other B vitamins.