Nutritional Guide

Folic Acid (Vitamin B) (Also known as Folate, Folacin, Vitamin M)

Beneficial For :

  • Pregnancy & postpartum support
  • maintain homocysteine levels

Why you need it?

Folic acid is essential for the activities of several enzymes. It is needed for DNA synthesis. DNA allow cells- including cells in the fetus when a woman is pregnant- to replicate normally. Adequate intake of folic acid pre-pregnancy is important for preventing most "neural tube" birth defects as well as some birth defects of the arms, legs, and heart. It also appears to protect against cleft palate and cleft lip formation in most, though not all, studies. Folic acid is also needed to keep homocysteine levels (an amino acid) levels in blood from rising.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Folic acid deficiency leads to anaemia. The main symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetitie, nausea and hair loss. Mouth sores are common and the tongue is often sore. Women on the pill are particularly at risk.

Good Food Sources:

Beans, green leafy and root vegetables, citrus fruits, mushrooms, nuts and dried pulses.


GRAS- Generally recognized as safe. No adverse reactions, side effects or overdose symptoms expected when taken within the recommended amounts.

No adverse effects have been reported as a result of taking Folic Acid supplements during pregnancy or lactation.

If people are deficient in vitamin B12 and take 1,000 µg of folic acid per day or more, then the folic acid can improve anaemia caused by the B12 deficiency. This is not a toxicity but rather a partial solution to one of the problems caused by the vitamin B12 deficiency. The other problems caused by a lack of vitamin B12 (mostly neurological) do not improve with folic acid supplements.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies often occur without anaemia (even in people who don't take folic acid supplements). If diagnosis of a vitamin B12 deficiency is delayed, the patient could be injured, sometimes permanently. This problem is rare, and should not happen with doctors knowledgeable in this area using correct testing procedures.

Proteolytic enzymes and antacids inhibit folic acid absorption. People taking either are advised to supplement with folic acid.

The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only. Neither the information provided nor products supplied or offered should be construed to be in any way substitutes for medical attention or prescribed medication. Consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or herbal remedies if you are suffering from an undiagnosed illness or if you are on prescribed medication.