Folic acid vitamin B9

Folic acid vitamin B9

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Folic acid is the parent compound of a family of naturally occurring derivatives known as folates.

Folate is the generic term for compounds that exhibit the biological activity of folic acid.


DNA and RNA synthesis in growing and dividing cells

Synthesis of structural and functional proteins

Aids in the protein metabolism

Necessary for brain function, being concentrated in the spinal and extracellular fluid

Essential for mental and emotional health

Regulates the embryonic and foetal development of nerve cells

Helps prevent intestinal parasites and food poisoning

Aids the performance of the liver

Deficiency effects

Poor memory is an early sign (RNA seems important in the storage of recent memory events)

Poor growth and interferes with cell regeneration

Greying hair

Glossitis (tongue inflammation)

Gastro-intestinal-tract disturbances

Anaemia that cannot be corrected by supplementary iron (meggaloblastic anaemia)

Irritability, forgetfulness and mental sluggishness

Cracks and scaling of the lips and corners of the mouth

Restless leg syndrome


Physical and emotional stress

Oral contraceptives – increases oestrogen, lowers folic acid levels


Pregnancy and lactation

Heat, light and oxygen all tend to destroy folic acid

Dilantin and myselin destroy folic acid.

Sulphur drugs may interfere with bacteria in the intestine which manufacture folic acid.

Amino-protein and streptomycin also destroy folic acid


Medical uses:

Treatment for anaemia


Sprue – gastrointestinal problem caused by malabsorption of nutrients


Stomach ulcers

Menstrual problems

Leg ulcers


Circulation for atherosclerosis

During pregnancy

Mental deterioration

Better vision

Any kind of hair loss.

Muscle pain



Infant dermatitis



Adult: 150-400 micrograms daily. In pregnancy 800 micrograms, lactation 600 micrograms.

Special need for the vitamin is increased during pregnancy to guard against foetus deformities such as cleft palate, brain damage, slow development, premature birth and poor learning ability.


No known toxic effects

Rapid growth: pregnancy, lactation, childhood, and adolescence

Heavy alcohol use

Deficiency of ascorbic acid and/or vitamin B12

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency

Atrophy of digestive tract epithelium: reduced absorption of nutrients, diarrhoea, anorexia, and weight loss

Anaemia: easy fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, decreased ability to concentrate

Reduced production of platelets can increase risk of abnormal bleeding

Impairments in white blood cell development reduce immune response

Elevated blood homocysteine with increased risk of atherosclerosis

Irritability, hostility, forgetfulness, paranoid behaviour, depression

Impaired foetal growth and development, birth defects

Good Dietary Sources

Wheat germ. Kidney beans, Spinach, Broccoli, Calf liver, asparagus, liver kidney and muscle meats, orange juice, brewer’s yeast, germ and bran of wheat, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, corn, pumpkin, egg yolk.

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Deborah Harper

Article by Debbie Harper

Debbie Harper is a self-published author and an accomplished blogger. She's the founder of and the author of the book “The Number #1 Rule for a Long and Healthy Life”. If you like this post, you can stay up to date with the latest information from by subscribing via RSS, or receive articles directly in your inbox. Then click here to download a free report on "The Number #1 Rule for a Long and Healthy Life".