Generally Folate is the natural form of Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), water-soluble and naturally found in many foods. Secondly it is an essential Vitamin. Thirdly lack of it can make a person to have health complications.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Recommended Amounts
RDA: Generally the Recommended Dietary Allowance for folate is listed as micrograms (mcg) of dietary folate equivalents (DFE). Men and women ages 19 years and older should aim for 400 mcg DFE. Pregnant and lactating women require 600 mcg DFE and 500 mcg DFE, respectively. People who regularly drink alcohol should aim for at least 600 mcg DFE of folate daily since alcohol can impair its absorption.
Folate and Health
Neural tube defects
Most importantly it helps with Heart disease
Additionally it prevents Cancer
Finally it is useful to those with Dementia and cognitive function
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Food Sources
Good sources of folate include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables (turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli)
- Sunflower seeds
- Fresh fruits, fruit juices
- Whole grains
- Fortified foods and supplements
Signs of Deficiency In Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) and Toxicity
A folate deficiency is rare because it is found in a wide range of foods. However, the following conditions may put people at increased risk:
- Alcoholism. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of folate and speeds the rate that folate breaks down and is excreted from the body. People with alcoholism also tend to eat poor-quality diets low in folate-containing foods.
- Pregnancy. The need for folate increases during pregnancy as it plays a role in the development of cells in the fetus.
- Intestinal surgeries or digestive disorders that cause malabsorption. Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease can decrease the absorption of folate. Surgeries involving the digestive organs or that reduce the normal level of stomach acid may also interfere with absorption.
- Genetic variants. People carrying a variant of the gene MTHFR cannot convert folate to its active form to be used by the body.
Generally Signs of deficiency can include: megaloblastic anemia (a condition arising from a lack of folate in the diet or poor absorption that produces less red blood cells, and larger in size than normal); weakness, fatigue; irregular heartbeat; shortness of breath; difficulty concentrating; hair loss; pale skin; mouth sores.
It is extremely rare to reach a toxic level when eating folate from food sources.
Overall, the evidence suggests that the amount of folic acid in a typical multivitamin does not cause any harm—and may help prevent some diseases, especially among people who do not get enough folate in their diets, and among individuals who drink alcohol.
Did You Know
In conclusion Folate is also referred to as vitamin B9. Despite the number, there are only eight B vitamins in total.