Canadian Medical Guide > Vitamins & Mineral Food Supplement Guide




Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Vitamin / Mineral Supplement Overview:
Vitamin B-9, otherwise known as folic acid, serves as a coenzyme during the creation of DNA. This vitamin is also very important to the growth and reproduction of all body cells, including red blood cells. Great food sources of vitamin B-9 include liver and dark green leafy vegetables.

How Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Works in the Body:
Formation of red blood cells
Creation of genetic material
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) promotes a healthy pregnancy by regulating the nervous system development of the fetus
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) helps treat anemic patients resulting from folic acid deficiency
Functions to metabolize proteins
Cervical dysplasia may be reduced

The Following People May Benefit from Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Supplements:
Those with increased nutritional needs
Pregnant or breastfeeding women or those planning to become pregnant
Oral contraceptive users
Substance abusers
Those who have undergone partial removal of the gastrointestinal tract

Foods High in Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid):
Asparagus
Avocados
Bananas
Beans
Beets
Brewer's yeast
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Calf liver
Cantaloupe
Citrus fruits/juices
Endive
Fortified grain products
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Green, leafy
vegetables
Lentils
Sprouts
Wheat germ

Using Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid):
Available as:
Liquid: the best form due to its high bioavailability and fast absorption. Always choose liquid as your first choice when supplementing your diet.

Tablets: Available as tablet. Swallow whole with a full glass of liquid without chewing or crushing. Take with or 1 to 1-1/2 hours after meals unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Recommended Daily Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Intakes
Men: 400 mg
Women: 400 mg
Pregnancy: 600 mg
Lactation: 500 mg

Medical Precautions: Consult your doctor if you have:
Anemia
Taking methotrexate

Over 55:
Not overly necessary.

Pregnancy:
Always consult doctor during pregnancy. Keep within DRI.

Breastfeeding:
Always consult doctor during lactation. Keep within DRI.

Vitamin Supplement Storage:
Heat and/or moisture may alter the vitamin. Refrigeration is recommended.

Symptoms of Deficiency:
Symptoms include anemia, mood disorders and gastrointestinal disorders. Neural tube defects may occur when a deficiency occurs during pregnancy.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Overdose:
Signs of Overdose:
In large doses, the following may occur:
Loss of appetite
Nausea
Flatulence
Abdominal distension
May produce folacin crystals in kidney

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Side Effects:
Reaction or effect : What to do
Urine is bright-yellow : No action necessary.
Diarrhoea : Discontinue. Consult doctor immediately.
Fever : Discontinue. Refer to your doctor soon.
Shortness of breath resulting from anemia : Discontinue. Refer to your doctor soon.
Skin rash : Discontinue. Consult doctor soon.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Interactions:
Interacts with : Combined effect
Analgesics : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Antacids : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Antibiotics : Low false results for serum folic acid test may occur.
Anticonvulsants : Folic acid and anticonvulsant efficacy reduced.
Chloramphenicol : Folic-acid deficiency occurs.
Cortisone drugs : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Epoetin : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Methotrexate : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Oral contraceptives : May need increased consumption of folic acid.
Phenytoin : Phenytoin effect reduced. Avoid taking folic acid if you are a patient taking phenytoin.
Pyrimethamine : Folic acid and pyrimethamine efficacy reduced. Keep away from combination.
Quinine : Folic acid efficacy reduced.
Sulfa drugs : Effect of folic acid decreased.
Triamterene : Effect of folic acid decreased.
Trimethoprim : Effect of folic acid decreased.

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