Vitamin B9: the essential vitamin and its best sources

The vitamin B9also called folic acid, is one of the so-called water-soluble vitamins. The latter plays an important role in cell renewal. It also has a place in the development of the fetus, that is to say in the case of a pregnancy. At what dose must it be present in the body and where can it be found?

Description of folic acid and its role

It is customary to call the vitamin B9, “folate”. This refers to leafy green vegetables, such as salad and spinach, which contain it.

This vitamin is involved in the transformation of amino acids, as well as in the production of DNA. Therefore, it is necessary for cells with rapid turnover. This is the case of red and white blood cells which form the basis of the immune system. The intestinal cells and those of the skin are also affected by the action of this vitamin.

When combined with vitamin B12, thefolic acid promotes the reduction of the rate in the blood of homocysteine. This compound, when in excess, is likely to lead to cardiovascular diseases.

It ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system and helps in the production of some neurotransmitters.

It is in pregnant women that the vitamin B9 is particularly required. As part of the development of maternal tissues, including blood and the uterus, it is solicited. The period from the fourth week until the closure of the neural tube is the most affected. The vitamin ensures the proper formation of the nervous system of the fetus.

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Foods rich in folic acid

Animal livers (155 to 330 µg/100g), dried fruits (93 to 198 µg/100 g) or even green vegetables (91 to 125 µg/100 g), as well as certain types of cheese (80 to 108 µg/100 g) and eggs (106 µg/100 g) are the food containing the most vitamin B9. Other foods contain it, but at a lower dose. Cereals (118 to 333 µg/100 g) intended for breakfast are another rich source of vitamins of group B. Brewer’s yeast makes it possible to fill the nutritional intake in this element.

The nutritional benefits of the vitamin

The needs vary according to the age of the individual. An infant should not exceed the dose of 70 µg/day. From the age of 1 year, this dose may reach 100 µg. Teenagers and men will have their coefficient around 330 µg/d. The breastfeeding woman is the one who will need it the most. It is recommended for the latter to take a supplement up to 400 µg, even before conception and during the first month of pregnancy. pregnancy.

Symptoms of vitamin B9 deficiency

A lack of vitamin B9 manifested by diarrhea, associated with abnormal loss of weight and appetite. It may also be that a vitamin B9 deficiency results in inflammation of the tongue, as well as headaches and heart palpitations. Finally, a pronounced deficiency is likely to cause megaloblastic anemia or an alteration of the mucous membranes in the cervix.

* At press health we strive to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice. []

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