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Learn Your Folic Acid (Vitamin B9) in 5 minutes

by Wearefeel Team |

– The Health Dossier with WeAreFeel

What is vitamin B9?

Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid or folate, is a critical component of the B vitamin complex, which regulates energy production in the body. Folic acid reduces the risk of congenital conditions, and it may prevent depression, and schizophrenia.

 

 

Is vitamin B9 water-soluble or fat-soluble?

Like the other B vitamins, vitamin B9 is water-soluble. Therefore, the body processes it quickly, and it’s necessary to frequently regenerate your folic acid stores to avoid deficiency.

 

 

Where can vitamin B9 be found naturally? Common sources of vitamin B9:

Folate is present in green, leafy vegetables like spinach, chard, and kale. This essential nutrient is also present in citrus fruits and grain products, such as bread, cereal, and pasta, that have been fortified with folic acid and other B vitamins. Beef liver is an example of an animal source of folate.

 

 

5 foods/drinks containing vitamin B9

1. Beef liver 54% DV per 85g

2. Spinach 33% DV per ½ cup or 64g

3. Black-eyed peas 26% DV per ½ cup or 64g

4. Asparagus 22% DV per 4 spears or 70 grams

5. Brussels sprouts 20% DV per ½ cups or 64g

 

 

What is the recommended daily intake for vitamin B9?

The recommended daily amount (RDA) for folic acid is 400mcg for adult men and women. Pregnant women need to ingest 600mcg of vitamin B9 per day, and breastfeeding women need to ingest 500mcg per day.

 

 

What to consume to get a full daily dose of vitamin B9?

Beef liver - approximately 160g

Spinach - approximately 190g. More folate is released when spinach is boiled

Black-eyed peas - approximately 250g

Asparagus - approximately 20 spears or 350g

Brussels sprout - approximately 320g

 

 

Can you absorb enough of vitamin B9 from food?

Among all the essential vitamins and minerals, folate is one of the easiest to absorb from food. This substance is readily available in a wide variety of different foods, and vegans and vegetarians have the option of getting their daily folate intake from vegetable sources like spinach and kale. On the other hand, busy lifestyles often make it hard to eat healthy meals every day, so it might be best to make sure you get enough vitamin B9 by taking a supplement.

 

 

Why is vitamin B9 necessary for your body?

Folate is critically involved in the production of red blood cells, and it is also involved in producing and repairing RNA and DNA, which are the building blocks of cell replication throughout the body. In particular, pregnant women must consume recommended amounts of folate to prevent neural tube defects and other birth defects. There’s even evidence suggesting that adequate folate consumption when pregnant may reduce your chances of giving birth to an autistic child.

 

 

Functions of vitamin B9

Reproductive functions: Promotes healthy pregnancies and prevents birth defects.

Energy and cardiovascular functions: Helps prevent anaemia by supporting red blood cell production.

Neuroprotective functions: Defends against neurodegenerative disorders and psychosis.

DNA functions: Folate has DNA-protective attributes.

 

 

Symptoms of vitamin B9 deficiency

Anaemia

Vitamin B9 deficiency results in anaemia, which is a condition in which your blood is not able to deliver adequate amounts of oxygen to your tissues. Symptoms of folate anaemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, and skin paleness.

Premature Hair Greying

Deficiency in folate can make your hair grey prematurely. This symptom is more common in adults, and it only happens in children or adolescents in instances of severe deficiency.

Developmental Issues in Children

Lack of folate consumption by the mother can result in birth defects, and children who do not consume enough folic acid display stunted growth and learning disorders.

 

 

How long do you need to take vitamin B9 to start experiencing its benefits if you’re deficient?

Generally, the symptoms of vitamin B9 deficiency can be resolved within 30-60 days. If there are other underlying causes of your anaemia, however, this symptom can take over a year to fully resolve.

 

 

How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb vitamin B9?

Supplemental folic acid has an 85% absorption rate when taken with food, and this rate drops to 50% when you take vitamin B9 without a meal. As long as you take folic acid with food, the vast majority of this nutrient will absorb within 24 hours.

 

 

How long does vitamin B9 stay in your body after you take it?

As a water-soluble vitamin, folate is rapidly processed out of your body. Most of the folate you consume will be excreted within 24 hours, and any trace amounts will be excreted soon after except in cases of severe overdose.

 

 

Is vitamin B9 an antioxidant?

Some research suggests that folate may act as an indirect antioxidant. While this nutrient does not have any direct antioxidant effects, it may reduce levels of oxidative stress and promote cellular homeostasis anyway.

 

 

Can you overdose on vitamin B9? What are the effects?

Since folic acid is a water-based nutrient, it is highly difficult to overdose on this substance. Consuming too much folic acid may reduce this nutrient’s rate of absorption, and common symptoms of folic acid overdose include temporary anaemia, diarrhoea, and nausea or vomiting.

In most cases, symptoms resolve within 24 hours, but severe folic acid overdose may last for a week or more. Avoid folic acid overdose by getting exactly 100% of your RDA of this nutrient with Feel.

 

 

Does vitamin B9 dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

Folate rapidly flushes out of your body. Except in cases of extreme overdose, this nutrient does not build up in your tissues.

 

 

Can you take vitamin B9 during a diet?

Vitamin B9 does not interfere with any dietary restrictions. Vegans and vegetarians cannot consume liver, which is the most concentrated source of natural folate.

 

 

Are there synthetic forms of vitamin B9?

While the terms vitamin B9, folic acid, and folate are used interchangeably, “folic acid” actually refers to pteroylmonoglutamic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate. 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) is another form of supplemental folate that may have a better absorption rate than folic acid.

 

 

Why might synthetic forms of vitamin B9 be better?

It was originally believed that folic acid absorbed better than natural folate, but it turns out that both synthetic and natural vitamin B9 have similar absorption rates. Folic acid is also less expensive than natural folate.

 

 

Absorption rate of synthetic vitamin B9

While the absorption rate for natural folate is 100%, the absorption rate for folic acid is 85%.

 

 

Why might natural forms of vitamin B9 be better?

Natural folate does not need to be processed by the liver to become bioavailable. Additionally, overdosing on synthetic vitamin B9 can lead to increased levels of folic acid in the blood, which can cause health conditions.

 

 

How to take vitamin B9

Folate is naturally available in many foods, and you can also consume this substance by taking supplements.

 

 

Vitamin B9 trends in medicine

Medical researchers continue to find new uses of folate, and just recently, scientists discovered that adequate vitamin B9 consumption reduces your chances of developing gestational diabetes, which is a common pregnancy-related issue.

 

 

Why everyone should be taking WeAreFeel supplements

Vitamin B9 is a complicated nutrient. While it’s best to get this substance from food, it’s easy to develop folate deficiency if your diet isn’t the best, which can ruin your energy levels and even increase your risk of developing diseases. Plus, folic acid overdose can reduce absorption rates of this essential nutrient. Instead of dabbling with fortified foods and dietary folate, rest easy knowing you got exactly how much folate your body needs with a daily capsule of Feel!

 

 

 

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