Get To Know Your Vitamins – Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) 2017-01-23T20:55:34-08:00

Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid)

Vitamin B9 is commonly referred to as folate or folic acid. Because it is a water soluble vitamin, it cannot be stored in the body and must be replaced daily. Folic acid is needed for DNA building especially for the fetus of a pregnant woman. In fact it is highly recommended by professionals for pregnant women to take this vitamin. It is found naturally in beans, leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits.

How it helps

Folic acid helps the body produce new cells and keep cells healthy. It is essential for development of a baby’s spine, brain and skull, especially during the first four weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, folic acid supplements are generally recommended for women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant. Folic acid also plays a vital role in the development of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. It is believed to be helpful in osteoporosis, gingivitis, Crohn’s disease and diarrhea.

What happens if you don’t get enough?

Folic acid deficiency can lead to:
■ neural tube defect in the newborn
■ folic acid deficiency anemia
■ mental fatigue depression
■ forgetfulness and confusion
■ insomnia
■ gastrointestinal disturbances

Certain factors can increase a person’s need for vitamin B6 or increase the loss of this vitamin from the body. These include:
■ alcohol abuse
■ inability of the body to absorb folate from the diet
■ kidney dialysis
■ liver disease

How much (dosage) should you take?

■ 14 years and older: 400 mcg per day
■ 9 to 13 years: 300 mcg per day

■ 14 years and older: 400 mcg per day
■ 9 to 13 years: 300 mcg per day
■ during pregnancy: 600 mcg per day
■ while breastfeeding: 500 mcg per day

What happens if you take too much?

No adverse side effects have been reported.

Can drugs interact with it?

Drug that may interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin B9 include:
■ methotrexate
■ metformin
■ anticonvulsants such as phenytoin
■ medications such as sulfasalazine used to treat inflammation in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

No side effects have been associated with excess dietary intake of folate; however, taking more than 1.0 mg per day of folic acid can mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Sources of Vitamin B9

vitamin b9 folate folic acid chart

Vitamins and Minerals: A Self-Hep Guide

This book provides a simple overview of the common vitamins and minerals available to help you supplement your diet when appropriate.
The information within this book is basic and does not claim to provide in any way comprehensive information of the subject matter but hopefully it can point you in the right direction when you need more information. All the information has come primarily from the government and authoritative bodies recommending daily intakes and pinpointing the limits of dosages per day. Experts in the field have tried to make the information easy to follow in this book.

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