Folate, vitamin B9, may also be referred to as folic acid. This vitamin seems to be significant in the formation of red blood cells. It should support the healthy function of an individual's adrenal glands. Folate also appears to help maintain brain and nervous system health. This vitamin seems to be particularly important for pregnant women. In the early stages of pregnancy, it may help reduce the risk of congenital disabilities. The recommendations seem to be four hundred micrograms daily for adults, and between four to eight hundred micrograms for pregnant women. Good food sources of folate appear to include peas, oranges, beans, and nuts. Other examples seem to be bananas, lemons, strawberries, and dark green vegetables. Individuals may also be able to consume folate in fortified foods, such as cereal.
Individuals with celiac disease appear to be at an increased risk of a folate deficiency. Thus, they may want to talk to their doctor about folate supplements. Evidence indicates that folate may help reduce the risk of developing certain cancers and depression. However, folic acid supplements may trigger certain side effects. Examples appear to include appetite loss, sleep issues, and nausea. Others may be irritability and confusion. In addition, these supplements may cause interactions with some medications. As a result, individuals may wish to review their current medications with a doctor before taking these supplements. Adjusted medication doses may be needed.
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