Vitamin B9 – Folate
What Is Folic Acid/Vitamin B9?
Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate or folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the B vitamin family. B vitamins/folate help support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous s
ystem, and are necessary for key metabolic processes. Folate occurs naturally in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic form of folate.
Why Is Vitamin B9 Necessary?
Vitamin B9 is essential for human growth and development, encourages normal nerve and proper brain functioning, and may help reduce blood-levels of the amino acid homocysteine (elevated homocysteine levels have been implicated in increased risk of heart disease and stroke). Folic acid or folate may also help protect against cancers of the lung, colon, and cervix, and may help slow memory decline associated with aging.
Pregnant women have an increased need for folic acid: it supports the growth of the placenta and fetus, and helps to prevent several types of birth defects, especially those of the brain and spine. Pregnant women and women of child-bearing age should take extra caution to get enough folic acid (see below for recommended amounts).