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- Though both are equivalent to vitamin B9, the difference between folate and folic acid is that folate is natural while folic acid is synthetic.
- Vitamin B9 plays a key role in the formation of DNA and RNA which make up your body's genetic code.
- According to the CDC, women planning to get pregnant should consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per day.
Liquid Vitamin B9 Supplement
Many of the processes the human body performs on a daily basis require a bit of outside assistance in the form of the vitamins and minerals obtained from eating a well-balanced diet. Each nutrient plays its own special role in maintaining our overall wellness, supporting different systems and promoting the health of cells. Some of the most important of these nutrients include vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, the B complex vitamins, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, and selenium. In this article, we will pay particular attention to one of the B vitamins, vitamin B9 (more commonly known as folate or folic acid), and explore not only its role in maintaining a healthy body, but also any added benefits it may provide.
Before we dive into the specifics about vitamin B9, let’s take a moment to clear something up. You may be wondering, “What is folate? Is it different from folic acid?” The answer is: yes! Both folate and folic acid are equivalent to vitamin B9, but folate is found in foods while folic acid is the synthetic form that appears in supplements. Other than their origins, the main difference between these two forms is that folic acid tends to absorb better than folate, showcasing 85% absorption compared to folate’s 50% (1). While it is always ideal to power your body with nutrients coming from your actual diet, folic acid may be a good supplement option to consider, especially for pregnant parents and developing children.
Much like the other B complex vitamins, folic acid has a variety of roles throughout the body, bouncing from system to system. In terms of the cardiovascular system, this important nutrient is one of the regulators for homocysteine, a protein linked to the development of heart disease when present in high levels. It also assists vitamin B12 in the production of healthy red blood cells, making these two vitamins an essential duo for cardiovascular health. Your body depends on folic acid for cell division as well, along with the synthesis of DNA and RNA, the two types of nucleic acids that make up your genetic code (2). For these reasons, healthy amounts of vitamin B9 are needed during pregnancy and early growth stages in children, which we will explore further in a later section.
Along with the other B complex vitamins, vitamin B9 belongs to the water-soluble category of vitamins. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins which have their excess amounts stored in the fatty tissue and liver, excess amounts of vitamin B9 exit the body fairly quickly, meaning that it is very important to replenish your body’s B9 levels on a daily basis. Folate is found in a variety of foods, such as leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, oranges, lemons, bananas, melons, and strawberries (3). If you do not typically eat B9-rich foods, you may consider adding a liquid vitamin B9 supplement to your routine. This can be especially effective for picky eaters who are averse to most vegetables and fruits. From the folic acid liquid form to folic acid tablets and folic acid gummies, there are numerous options available for supplements. The best liquid folic acid supplement should contain your daily recommended amount of folic acid (400 micrograms) without exceeding that level too much. Read on to learn more about the benefits of liquid folate and its importance in growth and development.
Folic Acid Liquid Benefits
The main folic acid liquid benefits, aside from those associated with pregnancy, relate to neurological and cardiovascular health. Low levels of folic acid have been linked with decreased cognitive function, higher risk of dementia, and depression. Although folic acid does not necessarily impact the production of mood regulating hormones, the correlation between its depleted levels and depressive symptoms indicates that taking folic acid alongside antidepressants may help alleviate these symptoms more efficiently (4). Evidence also points to the fact that folic acid could help treat Alzheimer’s disease and boost brain function in those suffering from mental impairment.
Folic acid benefits for men in particular may be linked to its role in the health of the cardiovascular system. As we mentioned above, one of the abilities that folic is known for is its breaking down of the protein homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are often associated with the development of heart disease. According to a study performed in 2016, men are twice as likely to experience a heart attack in their lives as compared to women (5). Therefore, by decreasing homocysteine levels, you can lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Side Effects Of Folic Acid
Since vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored inside the body, the side effects of folic acid are uncommon and usually quite mild. Taking excessive amounts of any vitamin can cause health problems, so make sure to always stay within the recommended daily dosage as well as the instructions of your physician. Too much folic acid symptoms may include bad taste in the mouth, nausea, loss of appetite, confusion, irritability, or sleep pattern disturbance. If you experience these symptoms while taking a folic acid supplement, consult with a medical professional. Remember that you should always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement routine, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Though it is uncommon, some people may experience an allergic reaction to supplements containing folic acid. The warning signs of an allergic reaction typically include redness, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and itchiness. Again, consult with a medical professional if you begin experiencing these symptoms. It is also possible for extremely high levels of folic acid to cover up a vitamin B12 deficiency, so try to keep your diet well-balanced or consider taking a multivitamin that contains your daily recommended amount of all the B complex vitamins and many more.
Folic Acid For Pregnancy
Some of the most important benefits of folic acid for women have to do with pregnancy. According to the CDC, anyone of reproductive age who is planning to become pregnant, even if not right away, should consume about 400 micrograms of folic acid per day (6). In fact, some studies have shown that consistently taking folic acid for a year or more prior to pregnancy decreased the risk of early labor by 50% (7). One of the main goals when taking folic acid for pregnancy is to prevent birth defects, especially neural tube defects. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly, in which either the spinal column does not close completely or the brain and skull do not develop. Folic acid supplements can help prevent these defects by encouraging proper development of the neural tube. So what happens if you don’t take folic acid during pregnancy? Doctors recommend it in order to avoid complications throughout the pregnancy and birth defects after coming to term.
The best folic acid for pregnancy may have elevated amounts of vitamin B9 compared to the usual recommended amount for adults as well as a mix of other essential prenatal vitamins. Your physician can help you choose the liquid folic acid pregnancy supplement that is right for you and your child.
Folic Acid Drops For Infants
One of the most crucial times to make sure you have enough folic acid is during pregnancy, but folic acid intake remains important for both the mother and the child after birth as well. Just as it does for adults, folic acid for baby development plays an essential role in DNA synthesis and the production of red blood cells during infancy (8). For this reason, some parents may seek out folic acid drops for infants in order to supplement their intake. If you choose to do so, you should consult with your physician first to make sure the supplementation is necessary. Any folic acid for newborn babies and older that you choose should have no more than the recommended daily amount for your child’s age: 65 mcg for babies 0-6 months old and 80 mcg for babies 7-12 months old (9).
As your children grow up, their daily intake needs for folic acid will grow with them. Some children are able to achieve their daily levels simply through their diets, but if you feel your child may need more of a boost, there are plenty of supplement options available. One of the most important aspects of choosing folic acid for children is to make sure you stay within allotted dosages, keep any pre-existing health conditions in mind, and pick supplements with good ingredients that fit your child’s lifestyle. Both folic acid syrup for toddlers and folic acid drops for toddlers may be well-suited for picky eaters, the former for its pleasant taste and the latter for its convenient ability to hide in beverages. Read on to learn more about the details of dosages.
Folic Acid Drops Dosage
As we mentioned above, the nature of B complex vitamins greatly decreases the chances of overdosing on them or experiencing adverse side effects. However, it is important to maintain healthy levels of these nutrients inside the body, as too much of any vitamin or mineral can result in negative effects when consumed in excess over a long time. Below, we have included the chart on folic acid dosage for adults, children, and seniors, according to the National Institutes of Health (10):
- Birth to 6 months: 65 mcg
- 7–12 months: 80 mcg
- 1–3 years: 150 mcg
- 4–8 years: 200 mcg
- 9–13 years: 300 mcg
- 14–18 years: 400 mcg
- 19+ years: 400 mcg
Of course, the folic acid drops dosage may vary according to other conditions, most notably pregnancy or breastfeeding. Pregnant individuals could aim for 600 mcg of folic acid per day while those who are breastfeeding may seek about 500 mcg per day.
If you are interested in receiving your daily recommended amount of folic acid alongside a variety of other essential vitamins in one convenient solution, then you may want to consider taking a multivitamin, such as Better Family’s Liquid Daily Multivitamin. Our diverse blend of nutrients includes the rest of the B complex vitamins along with vitamins A, E, D, and K, as well as important minerals like zinc, iodine, chromium, and selenium. This all-in-one liquid solution can be consumed sublingually and is more concentrated than other liquid multivitamins, making it the standout choice among competitors for fast absorption of only the highest quality micronutrients. Both safe and effective, our Liquid Daily Multivitamin is a great choice for any household and can be given to family members of all ages.
- “Folate (Folic Acid) – Vitamin B9.” Harvard School of Public Health, 2022, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/folic-acid.
- “Vitamin B9 (Folic acid).” Mount Sinai, 2022, https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/vitamin-b9-folic-acid.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Folate (folic acid).” Mayo Clinic, 23 February 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-folate/art-20364625.
- Kubala, Jillian. “Folic Acid: Everything You Need to Know.” healthline, 18 May 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/folic-acid.
- “Throughout life, heart attacks are twice as common in men than women.” Harvard Health Publishing, 8 November 2016, https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/throughout-life-heart-attacks-are-twice-as-common-in-men-than-women.
- “Folic Acid.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 April 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/about.html.
- “Folic Acid and Pregnancy.” WebMD, 12 June 2020, https://www.webmd.com/baby/folic-acid-and-pregnancy.
- “Folic Acid for a Healthy Baby.” University of Rochester, 2022, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=134&contentid=2.
- Healthwise Staff. “Getting Enough Folic Acid (Folate).” C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 23 September 2020, https://www.mottchildren.org/health-library/ue2418.
- “Folate.” National Institutes of Health, 29 March 2021, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional.
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