Vitamin B9 or folic acid

All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) used to produce energy into fuel (glucose). Often referred to as a vitamin B-complex, this B vitamin helps the body absorb fats and proteins. Therefore, the B complex vitamins are essential for the health of the liver, skin, hair, and eyes, and also help the nervous system function properly. However, folic acid is a synthetic form of B9 that is found in supplements and fortified foods, and folate is also found naturally in foods.

Why is vitamin B9 so important to the brain?

All B vitamins are soluble in water, which means that the body does not store them.

Folic acid is very important for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and mental health. Moreover, it helps the body produce DNA and RNA, the genetic material. Other than that, it is especially important during the rapid growth of cells and tissues during infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy.

However, low levels of folic acid are quite common. Alcohol disorders, inflammation of the intestine (IBD), and celiac disease are caused by a vitamin B9 deficiency. Also, some medications can lower folic acid levels in the body. As a result, vitamin B9 deficiency occurs.

Is that crucial to the heart?

folic acid protect heart from disease

Vitamin B9 works closely with vitamin B12 to help build red blood cells and keep iron in the body. It reacts with vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients to regulate blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine ​​have been linked to heart disease. However, it has not yet been confirmed whether homocysteine ​​is a cause of heart disease or a signifier that someone has heart disease.

Birth defects

Neural tube defect - folic acid deficiency

Pregnant women need folic acid to reduce the risk of neonatal birth defects. Neural tube defects are birth defects caused by abnormal growth of the neural tube that eventually affect the brain and spinal structure.

As mentioned above, pregnant women who do not get enough vitamin B9 are more likely to have children with birth defects. Therefore, pregnant women should take 600 mg of it daily. Women who intend to become pregnant should make sure to take the recommended 400 mg per day. This is because most neural tube defects can occur shortly after conception. At least before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Prenatal vitamins contain folic acid, which is essential for pregnant women. However, the evidence is not clear whether folic acid can help prevent miscarriage.

Child development studies show that taking prenatal folic acid supplements during pregnancy reduces the risk of developing autism. Further studies have shown that folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy is associated with a reduction in the risk of severe language retardation in children as young as 3 years of age. Some research suggests that low folate levels during pregnancy may increase the risk of emotional problems in children.

However, the body absorbs folic acid supplements and folic acid-fortified foods better than folate from naturally occurring foods.

Daily intake of folate

The following is the recommended daily intake of folate from food or vitamin sources.

Age Recommended amount of folate
0–6 months 65 mcg
7–12 months 80 mcg
1–3 years 150 mcg
4–8 years 200 mcg
9–13 years 300 mcg
14–18 years 400 mcg
Over 19 years 400 mcg

In conclusion, people should monitor their daily intake properly for a healthy life. It is important to note that folic acid can interact with certain medications and may not be safe for everyone. The following are some of the categories of people who must seek medical advice before taking folic acid.

Food sources

Folic acid is found in dietary supplements and fortified foods, including bread, flour, and whole grains. Most foods are naturally high in folate. Among the best sources are the following:

Folic acid rich food sources


Folate deficiency

Folate deficiency occurs when the body does not have enough folate. So, this can lead to anemia called megaloblastic anemia. However, folate deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of cognitive impairment. Some symptoms of folate deficiency are the following:

Likewise, the following are some of the groups at high risk for folate deficiency.


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