Did you know that without vitamin B9 our existence would be impossible? This water-soluble vitamin is responsible for many biochemical processes in the body, including the production of DNA. In fact, a deficiency in this nutrient can lead to birth defects and other health problems. Fortunately, our bodies can provide this from certain foods. Let’s take a closer look at the important properties of this vitamin.
Vitamin B9 or folic acid: what is it?
Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and fortified foods. It plays an important role in the development of the neural tube. Because it can help prevent birth defects in the brain and spine.
Folic acid is known for its involvement in the prevention of anemia and is essential for the production of red blood cells. Vitamin B9 is important for cell growth and DNA synthesis and is therefore essential for tissue repair and cell division. Although our bodies only need small amounts of folic acid, it’s important to make sure we’re getting enough from food or supplements.
Vitamin B9 deficiency can cause difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath and fatigue. In severe cases, it can cause neurological problems and even death. Fortunately, folic acid deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries. However, pregnant women and those who want to become pregnant are advised to take a food supplement every day to help prevent birth defects.
What are the properties of vitamin B9?
It is also called folate, pteroylmonoglutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, or pteroyl-L-glutamate. In the metabolic sequence of cell formation and division, this vitamin is the precursor of tetrahydrofolate (FH4 or THF4). The latter is a coenzyme that contributes to the formation of serine, methionine, pyrimidines, nucleic bases, and especially deoxyribonucleic and ribonucleic acids.
It is true that the body cannot produce vitamin B9. Even if it turns out that certain intestinal bacteria are still able to synthesize it, but in a rather limited amount. Vitamin B9 is absorbed in the small intestine and stored in the liver.
Recently, researchers have discovered that vitamin B9 may also play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
Benefits of vitamin B9 by life stage.
For the baby:
Vitamin B9 contributes to the formation of red blood cells and DNA, and also plays a role in the nervous system. Babies need a higher dose of 65 mcg due to rapid growth. Certain foods, which we’ll describe later, are the best sources of vitamin B9, but many babies don’t get enough of them. This is why many doctors recommend taking vitamin B9 supplements.
For the child:
Children aged 13 to 36 months need up to 150 micrograms of vitamin B9 per day. Thus, it is beneficial for their growth and development of brain capacity.
For a teenager:
Their daily intake of vitamin b9 ranges from 200 to 300 mcg. Vitamin B9 is important for teenagers because it helps produce red blood cells and prevents anemia. It also plays an important role in cell growth. What is important in adolescence, when the body is growing and developing rapidly. In addition, vitamin B9 is associated with a lower risk of certain birth defects. For these reasons, it is important for teenagers to ensure that they are getting enough vitamin B9 in their diet.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (ANC) is 400 µg. Vitamin B9 plays a role in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with an increased risk of heart disease. For this reason, adults between the ages of 18 and 60 must adhere to this limit and include foods rich in vitamin B9 in their diet.
For old people:
400 to 600 µg of vitamin B9 per day is recommended for people 65 and older. With age, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing nutrients from food. This is why it is important for older people to have regular blood tests to check for deficiencies. If you are over 65, your doctor may recommend taking vitamin B9 supplements.
For pregnant and lactating women:
This vitamin is important for pregnant and breastfeeding women as it helps prevent neural tube defects in developing babies. Neural tube defects are serious birth defects of the brain and spine. Folic acid may also help prevent other birth defects of the heart, spine, and limbs. 400 mcg per day is recommended for pregnant women. This amount can be taken as a supplement or by eating foods rich in this vitamin.
These foods contain vitamin B9.
Although most people take vitamin B9 supplements, it is also important to get this nutrient from food sources. Vitamin B9 is found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and fortified foods. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are particularly high in vitamin B9. Black-eyed peas, lentils, and peanuts are good sources. Fortified foods such as cereals and bread can also be a good way to get your daily dose of vitamin B9. If you want to increase your intake of this important nutrient, include these foods in your diet.
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