Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Research, Benefits and Cautions.

Vitamin B-9, 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. Great food sources of vitamin B-9 include liver and dark green leafy vegetables.

How This Vitamin Works in Your Body:
Formation of red blood cells
Creation of genetic material
Promotes a healthy pregnancy by regulating the nervous system development of the fetus
Helps treat anemic patients resulting from folic acid deficiency
Functions to metabolize proteins
Cervical dysplasia may be reduced

The Following People May Benefit from the Consumption of This Vitamin:
Those with increased nutritional needs
Pregnant or breastfeeding women or those planning to become pregnant
Oral contraceptive users
Substance abusers
Those who have undergone partial removal of the gastrointestinal tract

Where This Vitamin is Found:
Brewer's yeast
Brussels sprouts
Calf liver
Citrus fruits/juices
Fortified grain products
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Green, leafy
Wheat germ

How to Use:
Available as:
Liquid: the best form due to its high bioavailability 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.

Recommended Daily Intakes
Men: 400 mg
Women: 400 mg
Pregnancy: 600 mg
Lactation: 500 mg

Consult your doctor if you have:
Taking methotrexate

Over 55:
Not overly necessary.

Always consult doctor during pregnancy. Keep within DRI.

Always consult doctor during lactation. Keep within DRI.

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

Symptoms of Deficiency:
Symptoms include anemia, mood disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. Neural tube defects may occur when a deficiency occurs during pregnancy.

Signs of Overdose:
In large doses, the following may occur:
Loss of appetite
Abdominal distension
May produce folacin crystals in kidney

Side Effects:
Reaction or effect : What to do
Urine is bright-yellow : No action necessary.
Diarrhea : Discontinue. Consult doctor immediately.
Fever : Discontinue. Refer to your doctor soon.
Shortness of breath resulting from anemia : Discontinue. Refer to your doctor soon.
Skin rash : Discontinue. Consult doctor soon.

Interacts with : Combined effect
Analgesics : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Antacids : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Antibiotics : Low false results for serum folic acid test may occur.
Anticonvulsants : Folic acid and anticonvulsant efficacy reduced.
Chloramphenicol : Folic-acid deficiency occurs.
Cortisone drugs : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Epoetin : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Methotrexate : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Oral contraceptives : May need increased consumption of folic acid.
Phenytoin : Phenytoin effect reduced. Avoid taking folic acid if you are a patient taking phenytoin.
Pyrimethamine : Folic acid and pyrimethamine efficacy reduced. Keep away from combination.
Quinine : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Sulfa drugs : Effect of folic acid decreased.
Triamterene : Effect of folic acid decreased.
Trimethoprim : Effect of folic acid decreased.


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