Vitamin B9 – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Vitamin B9

Other names :: Folic acid, pteroylglutamic acid, folacin

Vitamin B9, otherwise known as folic acid, serves as a coenzyme during the creation of DNA. This vitamin is also very important to the growth and reproduction of all body cells, including red blood cells. Vitamin B9 is a water soluble vitamin, still can be stored in the liver, therefore doesn’t need to be taken daily to avoid depletion and deficiency symptoms. Factors that damage this vitamin are sulphur drugs, sunlight, and food processing.

Actions and benefits of vitamin B9

  • Forms red blood cells.
  • Creation of genetic material.
  • Production of DNA and RNA.
  • Amino acid metabolism.
  • Helps treat anemic patients resulting from folic acid deficiency.
  • Benefits for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
  • Folic acid is very important in the development of the nervous system of a developing fetus.

Recommended dosage of vitamin B9

  • Men – 400 mg
  • Women – 400 mg.
  • Pregnancy – 600 mg.
  • Lactation – 500 mg

Signs of Overdose:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea.
  • May produce folacin crystals in kidney.
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal distension.

Deficiency symptoms of Vitamin B9

  • Anemia.
  • Mood disorder.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders.

When more may be required

Pregnant women are sometimes advised to take a small supplement of folic acid to help prevent spina bifida and other congenial nervous disorders, and may also assist to reduce the risk of toxemia in pregnancy, premature labor and hemorrhaging. It is also thought to enhance the production of milk after delivery. Sufferers of psoriasis may consider taking extra folic acid, people under stress or anyone consuming alcohol.

Best food sources of vitamin B9

Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, lima beans, Irish potatoes, nuts, beets, sprouts, avocados, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, bananas, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, dates, cantaloupe.

How to Use vitamin B9

Available as :-

Liquid:- the best form due to its high bio availability and fast absorption. Always choose liquid as your first choice when supplementing your diet.

Tablets:- Available as tablet. Swallow whole with a full glass of liquid without chewing or crushing. Take with or 1 to 1-1/2 hours after meals unless otherwise directed by your doctor.


Heat and/or moisture may alter the vitamin. Refrigeration is recommended.

Useful References

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