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What does folic acid deficiency cause?

Folic acid deficiency can cause symptoms including diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss and weakness. It may also lead to headaches, a sore tongue, heart palpitations, irritability and memory problems. Folic acid deficiency may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing the blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that seems to promote blood clots and fat buildup in the arteries. Women who are deficient in folic acid and become pregnant are at increased risk for having babies born prematurely, at low birth weight and/or with neural tube defects (problems with the formation of the baby's brain and spine). Talk to your doctor about your own folic acid needs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.