Health BENEFITS of Vitamin B9:
- helps the body convert food into energy
- supports a healthy nervous system
- assists in producing oxygen-carrying red blood cells
- aids in controling blood levels of homocysteine
- helps prevent heart disease and stroke
- supports proper brain functioning
- helps produce the genetic material DNA and RNA
- supports a healthy immune system
- prevents spinal chord defects during fetal development
Foods HIGH in Vitamin B9:
Things to KNOW About Vitamin B9:
Vitamin B9 (Folate) belongs to the group of eight "B-complex" vitamins. The B vitamins work together with enzymes (molecules that speed up chemical reactions within cells) to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from the foods you eat and turn them into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the main source of energy within every cell of your body.
The B vitamins also play an important role in maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract, as well as healthy skin, eyes, nails, hair, liver, heart, and nerves.
All B vitamins are water soluble, meaning they dissolve easily in water. Any excess B vitamins the body doesn't need are released through the urine. Since extra B vitamins aren't stored in the body, you must consume them daily for good health.
There are two forms of vitamin B9. The form that occurs naturally in foods is called "folate." The other form is a synthetic (man-made) compound that is used in vitamins and fortified foods (because of its stability) called "folic acid."
Vitamin B9 works together with vitamins B6 and B12 to help control blood levels of homocysteine (a pro-inflammatory amino acid associated with heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease).
Vitamin B9 is used up more rapidly during pregnancy due to rapid tissue growth as well as during breastfeeding due to the loss of breast milk. Consequently, it's recommended that women consume higher amounts of vitamin B9 before, during, and after pregnancy.
A deficiency in vitamin B9 during pregnancy can result in neural tube defects in the newborn.