On the role of nucleic acids in the transmission of hereditary traits known to many readers — even far from medicine and biology. Baby blue eyes, a mole on her cheek, appearing with regularity in different generations of the family, character traits, susceptibility to disease, and more related to the structure and function of DNA and RNA — the two types of nucleic acids responsible for the storage and transmission of inherited traits. In the process, preparing biosynthesis, a doubling of nucleic acids to cell division and tissue growth, the most important role belongs to one of the B vitamins — folic acid.
Why do we need?
Sufficient folic acid becomes important in the earliest stages of nascent life. This vitamin is involved in the formation of the nervous system of the fetus, is essential for cell division, growth and development of all organs and tissues, the normal development of the embryo of hematopoiesis. It participates in the formation of erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets, ie all blood cells. Especially important is folic acidin the first trimester of pregnancy.
This vitamin got its name from the Latin word "Folium" — list. Indeed, they are rich in leafy green vegetables: spinach, onion, lettuce and other green stuff. Folic acid is found in the liver, kidney and meat.
How dangerous deficiency of folic acid?
Folicacid is important in the processes of cell division, which is particularly important for tissues that are actively dividing and differentiate (and it is primarily the nervous tissue of the fetus). In the first trimester of pregnancy, with the beginning of the formation of the nervous system, even a short-term folic acid deficiency can lead to serious long-term consequences. So, with a significant deficiency of this vitamin can be formed neural tube defects, hydrocephalus, anencephaly (absence of the brain), brain herniation, and the like; increased risk of mental retardation in children.
Deficit folic acid plays an important role during pregnancy, since this time is not only the formation of tissues and organs of the fetus, but also the placenta, and neovascularization in the uterus. With a lack of folic acid, this process can be broken, which increases the likelihood of premature termination of pregnancy.
The birth of premature babies, birth defects, impaired physical and mental development of infants — that's the price you have to pay for that lack of folic acid during pregnancy. Therefore, this vitamin recommended to be taken in the process of preparing for pregnancy, and during the entire period of gestation baby. Particularly relevant folic acid before pregnancy, if during that period a woman takes oral contraceptives, as with their use deficit this vitamin is more likely.
Lack Folic acid may arise as a result of its lack of exposure to malabsorption or increased need for this vitamin (which occurs during pregnancy or breast-feeding).
Symptoms of hypovitaminosis
Folic acid deficiency can manifest itself through
Severe deficiency of this fitamina quickly lead to anemia — a disease in which the bone marrow produces immature red blood cells giant. Clinical symptoms vary with the severity of anemia and are due and rapidity of onset.
In acute shortage of folic acid derivatives can be marked loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea may appear painful sores in the mouth and throat, skin changes and hair loss. Typical signs of chronic deficiency of this vitamin are fatigue, loss of activity. There may be ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue.
In recent years, accumulated a lot of convincing evidence that the lack of Folic acid, disrupting the exchange of amino acids containing sulfur, lead to the accumulation of a particular substance in the blood — homocysteine, have a damaging effect on the wall of blood vessels, which contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and increases the rate of heart attacks and strokes.