What is Folate?
Folate, also known as vitamin B9 and folic acid, is a critical nutrient for various critical body functions. This essential micronutrient helps form red blood cells and DNA, promotes cell growth and development and keeps overall health in balance. Although it can be naturally obtained from leafy greens, nuts and citrus fruits, many people choose to supplement with folic acid tablets or fortified foods like breads and cereals to increase their intake. Women of child bearing age are especially encouraged to consume enough folate since adequate intake helps prevent birth defects. To ensure they are getting enough of this important nutrient, many individuals add a daily dose of high potency folate supplements to their routine.
What are the benefits of Folate?
Folate is essential for pregnant women since it aids in the prevention of birth abnormalities of the baby's brain and spine. It is also beneficial to everyone since it aids in the production of red blood cells and prevents anemia.
What foods contain Folate?
Folate may be found in a variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fortified foods.
How much Folate do I need?
The quantity of folate you require is determined on your age and stage of life. The table below displays the recommended daily folate consumption.
RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) by Life Stage Infants aged 0 to 6 months 7-12 months - 65 mcg/day 80 mcg per day Children aged 1-3 years 4-8 years: 150 mcg per day 200 mcg per day Males aged 9 to 13 years: 300 mcg/day; males aged 14 and up: 400 mcg/day Females aged 9 to 13 years 300 mcg per day 14-18 years 400 mcg/day19 years and older 600 mcg/day Women who are pregnant 400-600 mcg per day Women who are breastfeeding 500-800 mcg per day
What are the signs of Folate deficiency?
Folate deficiency can result in anemia, or a shortage of red blood cells. Anemia symptoms include fatigue, weakness, pale complexion, and shortness of breath. A lack of folate can also result in birth abnormalities in the baby's brain and spine.
Can I get too much Folate?
Yes, there is such a thing as too much folate. Excessive folate consumption might result in stomach distress, diarrhea, and gas. Over 5,000 mcg of folate per day can cause nerve damage.
Peak plasma folate concentrations are attained 2-6 hours after an oral dosage. Folate is mostly attached to plasma proteins and is dispersed throughout the body. It is eliminated through the urine.
Mechanism of action
Folate is required for DNA synthesis. It aids in the prevention of birth abnormalities by maintaining appropriate DNA synthesis and repair.
Certain drugs, such as anticonvulsants, methotrexate, and trimethoprim, might interact with folic acid. These interactions can either raise or lower folate levels in the blood. If you are taking any drugs, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Research and general acceptance
Folate has been demonstrated to be useful in preventing birth abnormalities. It is advised for all women of reproductive age, particularly those hoping to become pregnant. Pregnant women should also take folic acid supplements.
Most people have no negative effects from folate. Some people, however, may develop gastrointestinal side effects such diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach distress. These negative effects can occur if you consume more than 1,000 mcg of folate per day. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you develop any negative effects.
Alternatives to Folate
If you cannot get enough folate from food or supplements, your doctor may prescribe folic acid tablets. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is found in supplements and fortified foods.
Before using folate supplements, see your doctor if you have any medical issues, are pregnant, or nursing.
Anticonvulsants, methotrexate, and trimethoprim should not be used with folate. These drugs have the potential to interact with folate and induce negative effects.
Do not exceed 1,000 mcg of folate per day. Excessive folate consumption might result in negative side effects.
Before using folate supplements, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any drugs.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you forget to take your folate supplement, take it as soon as you recall. If your next dosage is approaching, omit the missing dose and resume your usual dosing regimen. Do not take two folate dosages at the same time.
How should I store Folate?
Folate should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.