Definition

Vitamin B9, otherwise known as folate, plays a crucial role in DNA synthesis. This vitamin is particularly important in rapidly dividing cells, such as those found in bone marrow, the intestines, skin and developing fetuses.

Health considerations

Folate deficiency causes a wide range of symptoms, including poor growth, problematic nerve development and function, neural tube defects (in fetuses), diarrhea, inflammation of the tongue, and anemia. Pregnant women, premature infants, elderly people, alcoholics and tobacco smokers are often at risk of folate deficiency. Otherwise, there has been no conclusive evidence of toxicity due to folate overconsumption, though high folate intake can mask the symptoms of early Vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to irreversible nerve damage if left untreated.

May be found in

Liver, yeast, asparagus, oranges, legumes, fortified grain products, corn, green beans, mustard greens, broccoli, nuts, seeds

References

Nutrition: Science and Applications

Alternative Spellings and Names

Vit B9

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