Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

Folic acid (vitamin B9) review
Basics: water-soluble B vitamin, folate occurs naturally in food, folic acid is a synthetic folate form.
Benefits: folic acid is crucial for proper brain function, folic acid plays an essential role in human growth and development.
Dosage: 400 mcg per day for adults, 600 mcg per day for pregnant women, and 500 mcg for nursing women.
Sources: dark green leafy vegetables, oranges, lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, orange juice, broccoli, cauliflower, liver and brewer's yeast.
Deficiency: deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk for neural tube defects, folate deficiency is linked to cervical dysplasia.
Overdose: high doses (above 15,000 mcg) causes stomach problems, sleep problems, skin reactions, and seizures.
Editor's choice: PreNatal Plus
In addition to folic acid which can significantly reduce the risk of serious defects to the baby's brain and spinal cord (e.g. spina bifida) occurring in the first four weeks of pregnancy. Vitabase PreNatal Plus includes several other natural herbs and supplements to provide maximum benefit to the expectant mother. PreNatal Plus by Vitabase is manuafactured according to the highest pharmaceutical standards and uses only the best quality raw ingredients. Click here for more information.

Sources of folic acid (folate, vitamin B9)

Certain foods are now enriched with folate to provide a higher dietary intake e.g., some breakfast cereals. Foods which are good sources of folate include; dark green, leafy vegetables, many fruits (especially berries, oranges and bananas), nuts, cereals, dried peas, beans, lentils and eggs. Folic acid is found in green leaves, such as spinach, asparagus, beans (legumes) and especially in brewers yeast and liver. Rich sources of folic acid include spinach, dark leafy greens, asparagus, turnip, beet and mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, lima beans, soybeans, beef liver, brewer's yeast, root vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ, bulgur wheat, kidney beans, white beans, lima beans, mung beans oysters, salmon, orange juice, avocado, and milk. Citrus fruits, tomatoes and vegetables contribute the most to folate intakes. Grain products are also important sources. Most ready-to-eat cereals are fortified with folate. Folate is present in a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, wholegrain breads and cereals. The best sources of folate are green vegetables such as broccoli, pulses such as chickpeas, lentils and dried beans, bran breakfast cereals and wheatgerm. Some breakfast cereals (ready-to-eat and others) are fortified with 25 percent or 100 percent of the daily value (DV) for folic acid. Food processing, storage, preparation and cooking can also destroy up to half of the total folate content of vegetables. Steaming or lightly stir frying vegetables is the best way to preserve the folate content.