Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9, water-soluble and naturally found in many foods. It has also added to foods and sold as a supplement in the form of folic acid. This form is better absorbed than that from food sources—85% vs. 50%, respectively. It helps to form DNA and RNA and is also involved in protein metabolism.
The function of Vitamin B9-folate
- It plays a key role in breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that can exert harmful effects in the body if it is present in high amounts.
- Folate is needed to produce healthy red blood cells. Hence, it plays a role in red cells formation.
- It needed is critical during periods of rapid growth, such as during pregnancy and fetal development. Therefore, folate is important for women during pregnancy.
Deficiency of Vitamin B9
- During pregnancy deficiency of folate caused redevelopment of the fetus.
- Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease can increase due to lower consumption of folate.
- Producing fewer red blood cells and larger than normal.
- irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- difficulty concentrating
- hair loss
- pale skin
- mouth sores
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Sunflower seeds
- Fresh fruits, fruit juices
- Whole grains
The Recommended Dietary Allowance value of folate has 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.
UL: A Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the maximum daily dose unlikely to cause adverse side effects in the general population. The UL of folic acid is 1000mcg for adult.
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 vitamin B9 in their diets, and among individuals who drink alcohol