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"Let food be your medicine"  - Hippocrates

Supplements - Vitamins
Monday, 27 July 2009 13:15

FOLATE (Vitamin B9)

Also known as: folacin, folic acid, vitamin B9, pteroyglutamic acid (PGA)

Folate is a naturally occurring source of Vitamin B9 and can be easily destroyed when cooked and processed.

Folate deficiencies are considered to be the most common of nutritional deficiencies.

This makes folic acid, which is found in dietary supplements or fortified foods, a necessary supplement for women of childbearing age, pregnant women, women who are breast feeding, those suffering from alcoholism, people taking certain medications,individuals who are diagnosed with a folate deficiency and those with liver disease.

Folate deficiencies are common and may be caused by inadequate consumption of raw fruits or vegetables.

Cooking or microwaving vegetables destroys the natural folate, so make sure to eat plenty of raw vegetables and fruits, or take your folic acid supplements daily!

Folate deficiencies:

  • Anemia
  • Apathy
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Graying hair
  • Growth impairment
  • Insomnia
  • Labored breathing
  • Memory problems
  • Paranoia
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Weakness

Home Remedies using Folate:

Benefits and Uses of Folate:

Folate is speculated to be a natural cure for many diseases and ailments, such as:

  • Preventing birth defects
  • Lowering the risk of stroke and heart disease (when taken with vitamins B6 and B12)
  • Reducing high blood pressure in pregnant women
  • Promoting heart health
  • Protecting against certain cancers (colon, cervical, breast)
  • Strengthening immunity
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of certain anti-depressant medications
  • Reducing the side effects associated with Trexall (nausea, vomiting, liver problems)
  • Preventing cataracts
  • Combating gout
  • Raising fertility levels in men
  • Easing restless leg syndrome


Over the past decade, folate has had a tremendous impact on babies in the United States.

Pregnant women should consume folate or folic acid supplements during early pregnancy to increase the chances of birthing a healthy baby.

There is a 70 percent lower risk of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida), a 25-50 percent lower risk of cleft lip or cleft palate, a 15 percent lower risk of urinary tract defects, a 30 percent lower risk of congenital heart defects and a 50-70 percent lower risk of pre-term labor.

Folate may also reduce the risk of early miscarriage.

To make sure folate is effective, it should be taken BEFORE conception and for at least three months afterward.

The recommended daily dosage of folate for all women of childbearing age is 400mcg.

Foods containing folate:

  • Meats: beef, chicken, lamb, liver, pork, salmon and tuna
  • Dairy: cheese, milk
  • Vegetables/Fruit: asparagus, dates, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, oranges, split peas and root vegetables
  • Grains: barley, bran, brown rice, legumes, lentils, wheat germ, whole grains and whole wheat
  • Other: brewer’s yeast

Side Effects of Folate:

Exceeding the recommended daily dosage of folate doesn’t appear to be harmful.

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin; the excess amounts will be excreted in urine.

Do not take high doses of folate for extended period if you have a hormone-related cancer or seizure disorder.

Last Updated on Monday, 13 August 2012 10:23

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