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Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin B9

A sufficient amount of folic acid in early pregnancy is important because it prevents birth defects, especially birth defects that develop in the brain and spine. Women who become pregnant and do not consume adequate amounts of folic acid are more likely to have babies prematurely, low birth weights as well as birth defects.Vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it needs to be replenished in the body on a daily basis. There are two ways that you can do this. You can take a daily multivitamin that is high in folic acid, pregnant women can take pre-natal vitamins and you can eat foods that are high in folic acid. Foods that are high in vitamin B9 include:

  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Dry beans
  • Peas
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fortified grain products
  • Fortified juices

The recommended daily allowance for folic acid in men is 200 micrograms per day and women who are not pregnant need 180 micrograms a day. Women who plan to become pregnant or who are pregnant need to get 400 micrograms per day into their diet. Breastfeeding women need 280 micrograms on a daily basis.Vitamin B9 deficiency has several symptoms including anemia, diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite and sore tongue. Spina bifida and anencephaly is the result of folic acid deficiency in the developing fetus.Those people who consume large amounts of alcohol need extra folic acid as well as a host of other vitamins, as alcohol depletes vitamins in most alcoholics.

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