What is vitamin B9 (folic acid)?
Vitamin B9 or folic acid belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins, which are not stored in the body and must be taken regularly through foods or supplements. It is sensitive to high temperatures and tends to disperse when coming in contact with water.
What is the role of vitamin B9 (folic acid)?
Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is essential for women who are pregnant because the vitamin protects and promotes development of the embryo.
Vitamin B9 is also important for the synthesis of proteins and DNA as well as for the formation of haemoglobin. Its presence in the body also helps prevent health risks of cardiovascular nature.
Which foods are rich in vitamin B9 (folic acid)?
Vitamin B9, or folic acid, is found mostly in foods such as green leafy vegetables (lettuce, broccoli, spinach, and asparagus), liver, milk, in some cereals and some fruits such as oranges, kiwi and lemons.
What is the daily requirement of vitamin B9?
The daily requirement of vitamin B9, or folic acid, is about 0.2 mg, however, women who are expecting must retain twice as much since the fetus uses the maternal reserves of folic acid.
Vitamin B9 deficiency
Lack of Vitamin B9, or folic acid derived from alcohol abuse or certain diseases such as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and celiac disease can cause a reduced production of red blood cells, resulting in anemia.
In women who are pregnant, lack of Vitamin B9, or folic acid can have negative effects on the proper development of the nervous system of the fetus. In some cases, high deficiency of folic acid can cause premature birth with spina bifida.
Excessive vitamin B9 intake
It is difficult to encounter health problems in relation to excessive intake of vitamin B9, since any doses beyond the bodys limit can be repelled through urination. Some cases of overdose can however cause symptoms such as tremors, nervousness, lack of motivation, allergic reactions and a fast heartbeat.
Very high doses of folic acid in the blood may cause kidney problems; however, this is a remote possibility.