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What is Folate and Why is it Important

Read time: 3 minutes


Grow your own DNA! Folate, or folic acid, is also known as vitamin B9. It is a nutrient found in food and supplements that is key for physical and mental development. All vitamins and minerals are vital for optimal health; however, folic acid is especially important for fetal development, which is why people who are pregnant should take care to ensure proper consumption of B9. In addition, folate and folic acid have many other benefits.

Folate vs Folic Acid

Folate is the form of B9 which is found in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic version of B9. Both are safe, approved by the FDA, and equally useful. Folate is found in whole foods such as leafy greens like spinach and broccoli, chickpeas and kidney beans, liver, and more.

Sometimes, however, it can be hard to get the recommended daily amount, and people, especially people who are pregnant, need adequate amounts in order to thrive. This is where folic acid comes in! As with many vitamins and minerals, doctors will recommend folic acid supplements to make sure all the bases are covered. 

When consumed, folic acid is digested, converted into an active form that the body can use, and enters the bloodstream. However, sometimes the body can’t convert all of it if there are excess amounts in the system, so be sure to follow the recommendations for daily intake.

Benefits of B9

Folic acid supplements are one of the most important vitamins to add to a daily regimen when pregnant. This is because, during the gestation of a fetus, a person’s body needs to increase the production of DNA, which requires folic acid. Vitamin B9 plays a critical role in forming a fetus’s neural tube. Taking folic acid supplements when pregnant can decrease the likelihood of congenital heart defects and other birth defects, preterm birth, and ectopic pregnancy.  

But we always need B9, so it’s important for everyone. Folic acid, along with the other seven B vitamins, supports a healthy metabolism by breaking down carbohydrates into fuel for energy. Vitamin B9 also helps support an even mood and emotional health and has been found to aid other vitamins in lowering the risk of heart disease.

Folate Deficiency

So how do you know if you’re low on folate? There are some physical signs to note, such as poor childhood growth, an inflamed tongue, bad breath, a weak appetite, diarrhea, sluggishness, and shortness of breath. If you believe you are deficient, consult a doctor about taking a supplement to support your health.

People who are especially at risk of a folic acid deficiency are people who overuse alcohol, people with digestive issues such as IBS or celiac disease, and people with certain genetic conditions. If you fall into one of these, or just want to focus on getting the nutrients you need, look at what you eat daily. Folate foods, like dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peanuts, and sunflower seeds may help you get the daily serving of folate you need. Also, a folate supplement can help. Consider adding the EZ Melts’ folate supplement to your daily routine.

Our vitamins are fast melting and have a delicious customer-approved flavor. Unlike many major vitamin brands, our tablets are vegan and do not include harmful ingredients, artificial flavors, or GMOs. Try us out and see the difference!


Written by Annie-Eliza Stevens