Vitamin B9 functions Food Sources & Deficiency Diseases

Vitamin B9 functions Food Sources of folic acid & Deficiency Diseases

Vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin our body can not store. Vit-B9 is also known as Folic acid & Folate. B9 found in many foods naturally in the form of Folate and also available in supplements in the forms of folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic form of B9. Folic acid absorbed better than Folate. Vit-B9 plays important role in mental health and helps in the production of DNA and RNA. Folic acid also helps in the production of healthy red blood cells. Folic acid is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, like in pregnancy, fetal development, infancy, and adolescence.

The Pregnancy changes in Mother & Baby Body

Rich Sources of Folic Acid

Vitamin b9 founds naturally in many food items in the form of Folate. foods that are rich in Folate are –

  • green leafy vegetables (spinach,broccoli,turnip greens,brussels sprouts etc.)
  • sunflower seeds
  • Fresh fruits and fruit juice
  • beans
  • peanuts
  • whole grains
  • liver
  • eggs
  • seafood.
  • Avacado
  • mustard green
  • black eye pea

Folate is also available in fortified foods such as bread, pasta, rice. and also available in supplements in the form of folic acid tablets.

Age GroupMaleFemale
7-12 months80 mcg80 mcg
1-3 years150 mcg150 mcg
4-8 years200 mcg200 mcg
9-13 years300 mcg300 mcg
14-18 years400 mcg400 mcg
In Pregnancy600 mcg
In Lactation500 mcg

What should you eat in pregnancy ? Nutrition for pregnancy.


Vitamin b9 is required for proper brain function and important for mental and emotional health. It helps in the production of DNA and RNA. Vitamin B9 plays an important role in fetal development during pregnancy, the rapid growth of cells and tissues during infancy and adolescence. It helps vitamin b12 to make red blood cells and helps iron work properly. Vitamin B9 also helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose like other vitamins of the B complex.


Causes of deficiency

Vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin, so it can not store in our body therefore we need a daily intake of folic acid. some other causes are following

  • Pregnancy
  • Poor diet
  • Excessive intake of alcohol
  • Use of some medications such as anticonvulsants and proton pump inhibitors.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases like celiac and Crohn,s disease.

Symptoms of deficiency

  • fatigue
  • gray hair
  • mouth sores
  • tongue swelling
  • growth problems
  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • irritability

Deficiency disease of Folic acid

  • Anemia – Folate is necessary for making new RBC in our body so the deficiency of folate or folic acid leads to anemia, this anemia called folic acid deficiency anemia (megaloblastic anemia)
  • Birth defects – Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy can cause birth defect like- (neural tube defect, spina bifida, low birth weight, and anencephaly)

Blood MCQs – Question For Nursing Exam

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