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Vitamin B9 (Folate and folic acid)



The terms folate and folic acid are usually used interchangeably. Although folate is the general term used to describe all forms of vitamin B9, which are dihydrofolate, tetrahydrofolate, folic acid, methylenetetrahydrofolate, and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is used in supplements and fortified foods.

Body functions

It helps to make DNA, repair the DNA, and produce red blood cells.

Deficiency Symptoms

The deficiency symptoms of folate include; grey hair, fatigue, tongue swelling, mouth sores, and growth problems. Also, the symptoms of anemia can occur due to folate deficiency, and they include; weakness, lethargy, pale skin, persistent fatigue shortness of breath, and irritability.

Causes of Deficiency

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin. It doesn’t store in the fat cells because it dissolves in water.  Therefore, it means you need to take folate frequently, as the body cannot store folate. Some of the causes of folate deficiency include; Diet, Disease, Genetics, Side effect of medications, excessive intake of alcohol.

Food sources

Some of the food sources of folate include; leafy green vegetables, peas, eggs, beans, legumes, pork, poultry, fortified cereals, liver meat, tomato juice, citrus, and shellfish.

Medicinal sources

Folate is usually combined with other B vitamins in supplements of vitamin B complexes.

Daily recommended value

Recommended daily dose is 400 micrograms.  Pregnant women should take a folate supplement.

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