Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)Vitamin B9, also called folic acid or folate, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins. Since these vitamins are soluble in water they are dispersed throughout the body dissolved in fluid. They are not stored in the body to any appreciable extent and must be replenished every day. Their influence on the body lasts for 14-18 hours after ingestion after which their potency decreases. An excessive intake of water-soluble vitamins is typically passed out through the urine. If the diet contains less than 50% RDA of water-soluble vitamins, symptoms from deficiencies may be displayed in as little as 4 weeks; much quicker than for fat-soluble vitamins.
All B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, assist and regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. These are essential mechanisms which produce energy for the body. They also contribute to hemoglobin synthesis and red blood cell production which carries oxygen around the body. Furthermore, B complex vitamins help maintain muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract and promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, mouth, liver and nervous system.
Folate is necessary for DNA and RNA synthesis, which is essential for the growth and reproduction of all body cells and is especially important during periods of high growth, such as infancy, adolescence and pregnancy. Folate works with vitamin B12 and vitamin C in the production of red blood cells and assists amino acid metabolism. It is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. Folate also works closely with vitamin B12 to regulate the formation of red blood cells and to help iron function properly in the body. Deficiency of folic acid is the most common B vitamin deficiency. Animal foods, with the exception of liver, are poor sources of folic acid. Plant sources rich in folic acid are frequently not obtained in adequate amounts in the diet. In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the addition of folic acid to many grain foods (such as bread and cereal).
Good sources of Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) are:
We have sorted our nutrition database by foods high in Folic Acid. So you can easily see how much is contained in different foods. You can also search through our database using the search box below or browse the Folic acid content by food category.
Folic Acid content by food category:
|3D picture of Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)|
Different forms or alternative names for Vitamin B9 (Folic acid):
Importance of Vitamin B9 (Folic acid):
Necessary for DNA and RNA synthesis
essential to the formation of red blood cells
aids in amino acid metabolism
Deficiency of Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) may cause:
loss of appetite
forgetfulness, and mental sluggishness
inflammation of the tongue
pre-mature gray hair
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin B9 (Folic acid):
children 1-3 yrs 150 μg
children 4-8 yrs 200 μg
children 9-13 yrs 300 μg
Males 14-70+ yrs 400 μg
Females 14-70+ yrs 400 μg
Pregnancy 19-50 yrs 600 μg
Lactation 19-50 yrs 500 μg