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Differences Between Folate & Folic Acid

Folate is a water solvent B nutrient that happens normally in nourishment. Folic corrosive is folate’s manufactured structure, found in supplements and sustained grain and oat items. The word folate in some cases alludes both to the regular and the manufactured types of the nutrient. Folate is important to make new cells and along these lines is especially significant during outset and pregnancy. The folic acid fortification program effectively combats folate deficiency in American diets.

Folic Acid


Absorption and Dietary Allowance

Folic acid is simpler for the body to retain than folate. To account for this difference, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate is expressed in terms of a dietary folate equivalent (DFE). One DFE microgram (mg) is equal to one mg of food folate or 0.6 mg folic acid. According to the National Institutes of Health, the RDA for adults is 400 mg of DFE daily. This number is increased to 600 mg of DFE for pregnant women and 500 mg of DFE for nursing women.


Foods Containing Folate

Cowpeas, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, avocado, tomato and orange juice are all sources of folate. Although folate from food is not as bioavailable as folic acid, which means less of the natural form of the nutrient reaches the body’s tissues than does the synthetic form, food sources often provide other nutrients that are good for the body. These include vitamins A and C, and fiber.


Foods Fortified With Folic Acid

The United States implement the folic acid fortification program in 1998. This came after the 1994-96 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals demonstrated that individuals did not consume adequate folate. The fortification program required that foods such as cereals and grains be fortified with folic acid. As a result, one serving of fortified cereal can provide 25 percent to 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of the DFE. Rice, egg noodles and some breads are also fortified. As a result of the fortification program, most U.S. diets are thought to contain adequate folate, at time of publication.


Factors Affecting Folate Levels

Increased consumption of folate is necessary during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Those who are undergoing kidney dialysis, have liver disease, certain anemias, abuse alcohol or who do not readily absorb folate may also have low levels of the vitamin. Certain medications may also interfere with folate absorption. Symptoms of folate deficiency include anemia, weight loss, sore tongue, headaches, irritability, forgetfulness and behavioral disorders. Women with folate deficiency during pregnancy may have babies that are premature, of low birth weight or with neural tube defects.


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