September 17, 2018

Vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the vitamin B-complex. The natural form of vitamin B9 as it occurs in food is folate while the form available in supplements is folic acid. Folate is found in a variety of different foods including milk and dairy products, eggs, seafood, meat, poultry, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, grain, nuts, beans, yeast, etc.

Folic acid is used to fortify a lot of foods to help meet the recommended dietary allowance. The RDA of folic acid gradually increases from 65mcg of DEF (dietary folate equivalents) at birth, to 300mcg of DEF at 13 years. From 14 years onwards, the RDA of folic acid is 400mcg.

Women planning on getting pregnant are prescribed 400mcg folic acid which is taken till three months into the pregnancy. From the fourth month of pregnancy to birth, 600mcg is prescribed. Lactating mothers need 500mcg of folic acid.

The importance of folic acid

Folic acid plays a very important role in human development. The vitamin is required for the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. Vitamin B9 is important for skin, hair and nail health. It is also important during development in the womb and is required to prevent several birth defects.

Signs and symptoms of a folic acid deficiency

Symptoms of folic acid deficiency include:
  • Weakness and fatigue caused by anemia
  • Headaches
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mouth sores
  • Discoloration of hair, skin and nails

Pregnant women who suffer from folic acid deficiency risk giving birth to babies with neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly. These neural tube defects could lead to lifelong disability or even death. Folic acid deficiency can also lead to premature and underweight babies, and babies with cleft lip and palate.

What are the uses of folic acid as a supplement?

In supplement form, folic acid is used to treat several conditions including:
  • The progression of Alzheimer's disease
  • Memory loss
  • Age-related vision and hearing loss
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Insomnia
  • Age-related muscular degeneration
  • Osteoporosis

Folic acid has been found to reduce harmful side effects of certain medication like lometrexol and methotrexate.

Are there any side effects to folic acid?

Folic acid is safe for human consumption within the recommended doses. In very rare cases there might be an allergic reaction to folic acid which could cause hives, skin rash or difficulty breathing. Contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Please feel free to email address us with any questions at and put vitamin B9 in the subject line. We'll get back to you with even more information on this amazing ingredient.

And don't forget, this amazing ingredient is in our Multi-Vitamin and Multi-Herbal supplement AsUage. We go out of our way to find the best ingredients from around the world for your optimum health.

And please feel free to read and learn more at Nature's Aide Health Blog.
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