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Vitamin B9, Folic Acid

Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is most commonly referred to as a supplement for pregnant women, as it is important for the genome and can prevent birth defects in children.

  • What is folic acid?
  • Folic acid supplements
  • Where is folic acid found naturally?

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Folic Acid
 
Folic Acid +

What is folic acid?

Folic acid is water soluble and comes in several different forms. It is needed for cell division, cell growth and for the genome to function normally. Therefore, the National Food Administration recommends a supplement for those who are planning a pregnancy or expecting a child. A supplement can provide protection against birth defects in children. A large enough deficiency in folic acid during a pregnancy can result in the birth defect spina bifida in the child.

Folic acid supplements

Most of us get slightly too little folic acid via our diet. The recommended intake is 300 mcg daily, and for pregnant women the need is increased to 400 mcg. Folic acid is found in multivitamins and B-complexes and also as an individual supplement. A supplement of folic acid alone is usually dosed at 400 mcg, conforming to the daily requirement for a pregnant woman.

Side effects

None, folic acid is not stored in the body.

Where is it found naturally?

Foods rich in folic acid include egg yolk, spinach, legumes and offal. Many fruits and vegetables also contain a lot of folic acid.

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