What is the difference between Folic acid and Folate?

Folic acid and folate are both types of vitamin B9. People are often confused about these two. Couples or pregnant women doing pregnancy planning are aware of them. Folic acid is given to women during pregnancy. It supports neural tube development during pregnancy. Along with the development of the child, it is also necessary for the pregnant woman. It helps in red blood cell formation. It is prominent in Prenatal Multivitamins, so now you must have understood how important folic acid is. It is said that folic acid will further know what folate is. Let’s start with Vitamin B9 because both of them are derived from Vitamin B9.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is an essential nutrient, which occurs naturally in the form of folate. It performs many important functions in the body. For example, plays an important role in the growth of cells and the foundation of DNA. The following types of health conditions can occur when there is a deficiency of Vitamin B9 in the body.

Homocysteine ​​levels are increased when vitamin B9 is deficient. High levels of homocysteine ​​may be associated with heart disease and stroke.

Low levels of folate may increase the risk of birth abnormalities such as neural tube defects in pregnant women.

Cancer risk also increases as folate levels decrease.

What is Folate?

Folate is obtained naturally from vitamin B9. The word folate originated from the Latin word folium. Which means leaf. Leafy vegetables are the best dietary source of folate. Folate is a generic name for communes with similar nutritional properties. The Digestive system converts it into the biologically active form Vitamin B95-MTHF before it enters our bloodstream. Both folic acid and folate are extremely important for us.

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a manufactured form of vitamin B9. It is used in supplements. It is also added to processed food products such as flour, rice, pasta, and breakfast cereals. Unlike folate, the entire folic acid we consume does not convert to the digestive system B95-MTHF. It is converted into our liver and other tissues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if pregnant women consume sufficient amounts of folic acid before or during pregnancy, it helps to protect the baby from neural tube deficiency. Let me tell you that both of these can also be obtained naturally.

What are the sources of Folic acid and Folate?

Manufacturers focus more on foods with folic acid than folate. This is because folate flies away during cooking or baking, as heat and light can divide it. Folic acid is more stable. Folic acid sources are as follows.

  • Fortified pasta, rice, maize flour
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Fortified bread
  • Vitamin supplements (400 to 1000 micrograms of folic acid is found in supplements)

Folate sources

Pregnant women are required to take 600 mcg folate. Folate is found naturally in many foods. Folate is found in high amounts in some foods. Folate is found in high amounts in the 5 foods mentioned below.

  • Beef liver
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Cowpea (Black-eyed peas)
  • Fortified breakfast cereal
  • Asparagus

Apart from this, folate is found in all grains, green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seafood, poultry, dairy products, orange juice, etc. Eating a varied diet with different sources of folate helps a person maintain a good balance of nutrients.

Which is better to use both before pregnancy and during pregnancy?

Folic acid and folate are important both before pregnancy and during early pregnancy. Folate’s high level in the blood helps prevent abnormalities during baby births. Folate’s low levels can affect the spinal cord and brain. In which Spina bifida is a condition in which the spine is not formed properly. Due to which Nerve damage occurs. (Anencephaly) In this condition, the brain parts and the skull are obstructed. According to the CDC, women should start taking folic supplements a month before getting pregnant. You might not be aware that folate deficiency can cause anemia.

Folate deficiency

After knowing about folic acid and folate, now we also know about its deficiencies. Since folic acid is found in many foods. It is therefore unusual to have folate deficiencies. Low levels of folate in the blood can cause folate deficiency anemia. When this happens, the body larger starts producing red blood cells. Common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Tickling in the arms, legs, soles, and toes
  • Mouth ulcer
  • Have trouble seeing
  • Memory loss

What else should be taken apart from Folic Acid and Folate during pregnancy?

During the pregnancy, you learned how to include folic acid and folate in the routine. Apart from these, there are some nutrients, which are needed during pregnancy which are as follows.


Calcium is very important for the strengthening of bones and teeth of a pregnant woman and an unborn child. Apart from this, calcium also helps in the development of muscles and nervous systems. Calcium can be added to diets with the help of dairy products such as milk, yogurt, yogurt, cheese. On the other hand, broccoli and kale, and spinach are also good sources. A pregnant woman needs 1300 mg of calcium in a day.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also helpful in the formation of a baby’s bones and teeth. Fatty fish such as salmon is the best source of vitamin D. Apart from this, vitamin D can also be obtained from milk, orange juice, eggs. 600 IU is needed daily. international units


Protein is essential for the overall growth of the baby during the entire pregnancy period. 71 grams of protein are required in a day. Lean meats for protein, fish eggs can be included in diets. On the other hand, pulses, beans, soy products, and nuts are also good sources.


Double iron is required during pregnancy. The body needs iron to supply adequate oxygen to the baby. If you have a deficiency of iron in your body, then iron deficiency anemia can occur. This can also lead to conditions such as premature birth, low birth weight. 27 milligrams of iron a day is needed. Lean red meat is a good source of fish iron. Iron can also be obtained from breakfast cereals, beans, and vegetables.

Hope you have liked this article and have got the necessary information related to folic acid and folate. For more information, please consult the expert.

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