Folic acid

Vitamin B9 is essential for certain body functions, including the production of genetic material. Check the composition of your menu to determine the products that contain B9, and assess the risk of too high or low consumption. So where does folic acid contain?

Folic acid - vitamin of life

Where folate contains the most

Vitamin B9 and folic acid are common terms. They denote vitamin compounds that have the properties of folic acid. Distinguish between folic acid of natural origin contained in food, and synthetic, that is, artificial production.

The need for vitamin B9 depends on a person’s age, and its daily intake is estimated in dietary folate equivalents. What does this mean? Folic acid is a natural form of the vitamin and only 50% is absorbed by the body. While its synthetic counterpart is more stable and as a pure substance is absorbed by the body almost completely.

That is why, when it comes to analyzing the need for vitamin, they talk about food folate equivalent. This term takes into account the difference in composition and absorption capacity between dietary folic acid and synthetic. Folate equivalent corresponds to 1 µg of food folate or 0.5 µg of its synthetic form.

Folic acid plays a significant role in the body. So, the following processes cannot do without it:

  • production of genetic material (DNA, RNA) and amino acids, which are very necessary for cell growth;
  • the formation of red blood cells;
  • synthesis of neurotransmitters of the nervous system;
  • strengthening the immune system;
  • improving the quality of male sperm;
  • prevention of cardiovascular diseases of atherosclerosis;
  • slow memory loss;
  • positive effect on depression;
  • preservation of youthful skin;
  • reducing the risk of asthma and allergies;
  • stimulation of concentration and mental abilities.

As for cancer of the digestive system, folic acid can reduce the risk of its development, but today this problem is not fully understood.

Based on the importance of this element for the body, the requirements for the consumption of folic acid are particularly high during periods of strong growth, especially in early pregnancy. If there is a shortage during the carrying of a baby, the risk of development of defects in the embryo increases significantly.

Products containing vitamin B9

Products containing vitamin B9

The recommended daily intake of food folate equivalents is:

  • for adults and adolescents - about 300 mg / day;
  • for babies - from 150 to 250 mg / day. (it depends on the age group);
  • for women in the situation - 400 mg / day.

The vitamin of life is in the right quantity in such foods as:

  • liver;
  • nutritional yeast;
  • egg yolk;
  • shallot;
  • soybean;
  • vegetables;
  • fruits;
  • legumes and nuts;
  • breakfast cereals or crackers.

Where does folic acid contain the most? Below is a list of such products.


Microgram / 100g of product

Wheat germ


White beans


Veal liver






Grain salad


Germinated beans




Brussels Sprouts
























Features of folic acid intake

Features of folic acid intake

When cooking food products that contain folic acid, it is necessary to consider that, like all vitamins, it is very sensitive to temperature, light and oxygen. In addition, B vitamins, including folic acid, are soluble in water. When washing or preparing food, most of the folic acid in foods is lost. That is why the food should be cooked delicately.

Risk of shortage and excess consumption

Partly due to the role of vitamin B9 in the synthesis of DNA and RNA, folic acid deficiency causes cell growth to slow down, including red blood cells and white blood cells, intestinal cells, liver, and skin. Signs of this are anemia, digestive and neurological disorders, destruction of the mucous membranes.

In pregnant women, the effects of folic acid deficiency are even more dramatic. These include:

  • abnormal development of the placenta and blood flow;
  • malformations of the baby, such as spina bifida and anencephaly;
  • fetal growth retardation;
  • increased risk of premature delivery;
  • low levels of folate in young children.

Folic acid is closely related to homocysteine, a product of methionine metabolism. With an elevated vitamin content of life in the body, homocysteine ​​is low, and in the case of folic acid deficiency, its concentration increases. Elevated levels of homocysteine ​​in the blood are considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular abnormalities.

Acceptance of more than 1000 micrograms of folic acid per day should take place under medical supervision, since it masks the symptoms of a serious vitamin B12 deficiency, and this can cause irreversible neurological damage.

Vitamin uptake of life by the body

After folic acid is absorbed by the body, it is converted into the active form of 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5-MTHF). During this transformation, approximately 10 to 15% of people suffer from polymorphism — a genetic modification that reduces activity.

Thus, this dysfunction can be overcome by increasing folate intake or by absorbing 5-MTHF. It is currently available as a vitamin supplement, which must be taken in combination with folic acid.

Vitamins, which, in fact, is folic acid, are essential for physiological processes in our body. Consequently, their consumption with food is of paramount importance for human health and well-being.

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