Vitamin B9 Folic Acid functions and dosage - Food Sources of Pteroylglutamic acid, Folate


Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) is a conjugated molecule consisting of a pteridine ring structure linked to para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) that forms pteroic acid. Folic acid itself is then generated through the conjugation of glutamic acid residues to pteroic acid. Folic acid is obtained primarily from yeasts and leafy vegetables as well as animal liver.

Vitamin B9 which is medically known as Pteroylglutamic Acid, Folate, or Folacin, is a B Complex vitamin which makes the metabolic processes in our body. Folic acid is important for the synthesis of nucleic acids and the production of heme.

Dangerous levels of consumption are between 5,000 to 10,000 mcg. The RDA is about 400 mcg per day


Folic acid is an important vitamin, belonging to the Vitamin B category. It is counted amongst the eight kinds of vitamins under the Vitamin BV category.  Folic acid is also known by many other names. It is sometime called Vitamin B9, and some time Folate or Folacin.

Some Unknown facts about Vitamin B9 - Folic Acid

Regularly prescribed medicines generally reduce the level of folic acid in the body. The list of medicines includes the following:

  1. methotrexate,
  2. phenytoin,
  3. trimethoprim
  4. birth control
  5. Tobacco and alcohol reduce folic acid levels.

Food Sources of Vitamin B9

Fresh green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli contain folic acid. It is also found in fruit, starchy vegetables, beans, whole grains and liver.

Health benefits of Folic Acid?

The key benefits of Folic Acid are laid as below:

It contributes to overall health and vitality, Increases breast milk, Prevents Alzheimer's disease, It may lower risk for heart disease, Good for skin care, Improves Brain development and functioning, Improves Fertility, Prevents eye diseases like Macular degeneration, etc.

Functions of Vitamin B9

Folic acid works along with vitamin B12 and vitamin C to help the body digest and utilize proteins and to synthesize new proteins when they are needed. It is necessary for the production of red blood cells and for the synthesis of DNA (which controls heredity and is used to guide the cell in its daily activities). Folic acid also helps with tissue growth and cell function. In addition, it helps to increase appetite when needed and stimulates the formation of digestive acids. Synthetic folic acid supplements may be used in the treatment of disorders associated with folic acid deficiency and may also be part of the recommended treatment for certain menstrual problems and leg ulcers.

Vitamin B 9 is very important in pregnancy. It helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation, which is vital for normal development. Studies have shown that a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folate in early pregnancy may prevent the vast majority of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

Dosage and Precautions of Folic Acid

The current recommended intake for folic acid is 400 micrograms per day. There are many excellent sources of folic acid, including prepared breakfast cereals, beans, and fortified grains. However, pregnant women often require additional supplementation as prescribed by a health care provider. Adequate folic acid is important for pregnant women because it has been shown to prevent some kinds of birth defects, including neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Many foods are now fortified with folic acid to help prevent these kinds of birth defects.

Folic acid will give some serious side effects if too much is taken n regular basis. Dangerous levels are defined as between 5,000 and 10,000 mcg. The RDA for B9 or folic acid is 400 mcg per day.

Be healthy by knowing folic acid benefits 

Vitamins are few of those components, without which we cannot lead a normal and healthy life. Folic acid is a type of one such essential component. This signifies how important Folic acids are for our healthy life.

Characteristics about folic acid

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin and is very essential for the body. Amongst the other categories of vitamins, folic acid is the one on which the most researches has been carried on.

Benefits of folic acid

There are plenty of benefits of folic acid. First and foremost one is its capability of producing nucleic acids and its capability of synthesizing heme. Heme is an important constituent of hemoglobin that helps in the carriage of iron and oxygen in RBCs or red blood corpuscles.
Apart from this, the intake of folic acids is also good for the new life. During pregnancy, when a mother takes folic acids in adequate amount, it reduces the complications and the difficulties that the new born infant can face. It is one of the biggest benefits of the folic acid and it actually makes the new birth easy and normal.

Another important benefit of folic acid is that it helps in regulating and managing the number of red blood cells in the body. We all are aware of the fact that red blood cells are every important for our living, and so we can easily understand how important a role is played by folic acid. Folic acid is also said to be beneficial in improving the memory. It helps one in keeping the memory sharp and strong even with growing age. 

What are the deficiency symptoms of Vitamin B9?

Signs of an overdose may include gastrointestinal disorders, anemia, Vitamin B-12 deficiency, pre-mature gray hair. Folate deficiency results in complications nearly identical to those described for vitamin B 12 deficiency. The most pronounced effect of folate deficiency on cellular processes is upon DNA synthesis. Poor dietary habits as those of chronic alcoholics can lead to folate deficiency.

Overdosage signs of Vitamin B9

Signs of an overdose may include loss of appetite, Nausea, Flatulence, Abdominal distension, May produce folacin crystals in kidney. Folic acid has been linked to bipolar disorder. Deficiency in folic acid has sometimes being with both magnet depression and mania. The majority of research has been into depression, but a current study due for completion in 2008 should rectify .

How to Store the Vitamin B9?

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

Vitamin B9 Deficiency

Macrocytic anemia
Megaloblastic anemia


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