What Is Folic Acid

Vitabiotics | Published: 01/09/2021

What Is Folic Acid

We Give You The Lowdown On Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the eight B vitamins and also comes under the name vitamin B9. It can also be called folate. Folic acid is the man made type of vitamin B9; naturally it is called folate.

It’s important for a number of functions in the body. Here we reveal why folic acid is needed and how you can get enough.

Why Do We Need Folic Acid?

Folate contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy, making it an essential vitamin for pregnant women and also women hoping to get pregnant.

Folic acid also contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism. This is an important factor in heart health. Homocysteine is an amino acid, which is produced when proteins are broken down, such as those from meat and fish.

Folic acid, being a B vitamin, also contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

Finally, folic acid contributes to the normal function of the immune system and contributes to normal psychological performance.

How Much Folic Acid Do We Need?

The UK Department of Health recommends that adults need 200µg of folate a day. Folate or folic acid is measured in micrograms (mcg or µg).

If you're pregnant, trying for a baby, or could potentially get pregnant, the UK Department of Health recommended that you take a 400µg folic acid supplement daily before you are pregnant and until you're 12 weeks pregnant. Folic acid is also beneficial beyond 12 weeks of pregnancy for maternal tissue growth.

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What Are The Best Food Sources Of Folic Acid?

Folate is found in small amounts in many foods, such as the below...

  • Edamame Beans - 482μg per cup
  • Lentils - 358μg per cup
  • Asparagus - 268μg per cup cooked
  • Spinach - 263μg per cup cooked
  • Broccoli - 168μg per cup cooked
  • Avocado - 163μg per avocado
  • Mangoes - 71μg per cup
  • Lettuce - 64μg per cup
  • Sweet Corn - 61μg per cup cooked
  • Oranges - 30μg per 100g

Our Best Supplements Containing Folic Acid

Ultra Folic Acid combines 400µg of folate with vitamin B12, which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

To safeguard your intake of folic acid, you might want to consider a supplement. Ultra Vitamin B Complex includes all eight of the essential B vitamins including 200µg of folic acid. This vitamin B Complex helps to maintain all round health and is ideal for vegetarians, vegans, the over 50s, athletes and those with hectic lifestyles or anyone simply wanting extra nutritional support.

Neuromind Original contains folic acid, and also includes pantothenic acid which contributes to mental performance, plus the mineral iodine, which contributes to normal cognitive function.

Neuromind Plus provides even greater support thanks to an added Omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) capsule which provides 300mg of DHA. This contributes to the maintenance of normal brain function.

For the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, Feroglobin Capsules, from the UK’s number 1 iron supplement brand, provide 17mg of iron per capsule as well as folic acid, plus vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, which contribute to normal blood formation.

Vitabiotics Feroglobin Liquid is an alternative to tablets. Each 10ml of liquid contains iron and folate, as well as vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

Our Best Supplements For Conception And Pregnancy Containing Folic Acid

Vitabiotics has a range of supplements containing folic acid, suitable for before conception, during pregnancy and after pregnancy.

Pregnacare Conception contains 400µg of folic acid, as recommended by the UK Department of Health. Supplemental folic acid intake increases maternal folate status. Low maternal folate status is a risk factor in the development of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. The beneficial effect is obtained with a supplemental folic acid daily intake of 400µg for at least one month before and up to three months after conception. As well as folic acid, Pregnacare Conception provides vitamin B12, iron, magnesium and 20µg of vitamin D3. These all have a role in the process of cell division. It also includes zinc which contributes to normal fertility and reproduction.

Pregnacare Him & Her Conception is a specialist dual-pack for both men and women trying to conceive; it contains Wellman Conception tablets for him as well as Pregnacare Conception tablets for her. It is recommended that these are both taken for three months before trying for a baby. Wellman Conception provides zinc which contributes to normal fertility and reproduction, plus Siberian Ginseng and Co-Q10.

Pregnacare Original contains 19 important nutrients, specially formulated by experts for during pregnancy. This includes the recommended 400µg of folic acid as well as vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, which contribute to normal red blood cell formation.

Pregnacare Plus contains the 19 nutrients found in Pregnacare Original, as well as an additional Omega-3 capsule. This capsule provides a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found to contribute to normal brain and eye development of the foetus.

Pregnacare Max offers the most comprehensive support from the Pregnacare range. As well as 400µg of folic acid and includes L-Methylfolate, a more advanced form of folic acid, Pregnacare Max contains 500mg of calcium, plus the 300mg Omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) capsule. Maternal intake of DHA contributes to the normal eye and brain development of the foetus.

Pregnacare Liquid is ideal for those who don’t want to take tablets. It contains 18 nutrients including the recommended 400µg folic acid, 10µg of vitamin D, and a moderate level of iron as part of a comprehensive formula.

Read More: Why Folic Acid Is Important Before And During Pregnancy

Meet the Author

lucy gornall

lucy gornall


lucy gornall


Lucy is an award winning freelance health, fitness and wellbeing journalist and copywriter. She is also a personal trainer, teaching at London based studios. With 10 years of journalistic experience under her belt, Lucy was formerly a health editor across various women’s magazines and also editor for a national women’s glossy title. She now writes for various publications whilst also working on various branded content

Alexandra Phillips

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