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Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Ayurvedic Medicine / Folate (Folic Acid) Vitamin B9 - Uses, Dosage, Effects, Food Sources, and More

Folate (Folic Acid) Vitamin B9 - Uses, Dosage, Effects, Food Sources, and More

Team AckoSept 15, 2023

Folic Acid (FA), a synthetic form of one of the B vitamins known as Folate (FLT), is a naturally occurring substance found in many foods. Because of its numerous benefits, including the capability to build red blood cells, it is important to include FA in your diet. It is essential for preventing pregnancy complications and maintaining prenatal health. This article discusses the ayurvedic medicines containing Folate, its benefits, sources, recommended intakes, risks, and consequences of deficiency.




What is Folic Acid?

Folic Acid, also known as folate or Vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the proper functioning of the human body. It plays a vital role in DNA and RNA synthesis, which are the building blocks of cells, and in the production of red blood cells. Additionally, it supports cells in growing, dividing, and functioning effectively. FA is quintessential for brain function and mental health. It also helps prevent defects to the brain and spine of the newborn when taken by women before and during pregnancy.

Why is Folic Acid important?

Folate is essential for several physiological functions. It helps the body create healthy red blood cells (RBCs). Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Insufficient production of RBCs can cause anaemia, weakness, and a pale complexion. Those who don't receive enough Folate might also develop Folate deficiency anaemia.

It is also essential for cell division, the production and repair of DNA, and other genetic components. It is vital for pregnant women to obtain enough Folate, as FA is vital for early foetal development, especially the spinal cord.

Why Ayurveda?

Ayurvedic medicine uses natural substances and herbs, appealing to individuals who prefer a more holistic approach to healthcare. People may find Ayurveda a helpful, complementary, or alternative way to address Folate deficiency. Consult with a healthcare professional before using any Ayurvedic supplements to ensure they are safe and effective for your needs. 

Folate-rich Ayurvedic products 

Several natural ingredients are rich in Folate and used in Ayurvedic medicines. Here are a few examples.

  • Amalaki: Amalaki, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a fruit high in FLT and other nutrients. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to support the immune system, promote healthy digestion, and improve skin and hair health.

  • Moringa: Moringa is a plant known for its high nutrient content, including FLT. It supports your body in healing and building muscles. It is also high in antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage and may strengthen your immune system. It is often used in Ayurvedic medicine to support overall health and well-being.

  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is a herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to help reduce stress and improve mood. It is also a good source of FLT.

  • Shatavari: Shatavari is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to support reproductive health, overall health, and well-being. It is a good source of FLT and other nutrients.

  • Guduchi: Guduchi, also known as Tinospora cordifolia, is an herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to support immune function, reduce inflammation, and promote overall health. 

It is important to note that the FLT content of these products may vary depending on the specific product and its preparation. If you consider using Ayurvedic products to increase your FLT intake, you must consult a healthcare professional to ensure safety and effectiveness for your specific needs.

Depending on your age, the daily intake amount of FLT is determined. Here is a list of average daily recommended amounts in micrograms of dietary Folate equivalents (DFEs).


Recommended amount

0–6 months

65 mcg

7–12 months

80 mcg DFE

1–3 years

150 mcg DFE

4–8 years

200 mcg DFE

9–13 years

300 mcg DFE

14–18 years

400 mcg DFE

19+ years

400 mcg DFE

During pregnancy

600 mcg DFE

During lactation

500 mcg DFE

Consequences of Folate deficiency

A Folate deficiency can cause several health problems. Some of them may include the following.

  • Anaemia: FLT deficiency can cause megaloblastic anaemia, a condition in which red blood cells are abnormally large and unable to function.

  • Birth defects: FLT deficiency during pregnancy can increase the risk of neural tube defects, affecting the brain and spinal cord of the baby.

  • Cardiovascular disease: FLT deficiency may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by raising the homocysteine levels, a type of amino acid that increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

  • Cognitive impairment: FLT deficiency can lead to cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s in older adults.

  • Digestive problems: FLT deficiency can cause digestive problems such as diarrhoea, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

  • Fatigue: A lack of FLT can cause fatigue and weakness.

  • Depression: FLT deficiency has been linked to depression and may also reduce the effectiveness of antidepressant medications.

Symptoms of Folate deficiency

Some symptoms of FLT deficiency may include the following.

  • Weakness

  • Fatigue

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Headache

  • Irritability

  • Heart palpitations

  • Sores on the tongue and mouth

  • Change in hair, skin, or fingernail colour

  • Shortness of breath

Overall, FLT deficiency can have serious health consequences. It is essential to obtain enough FLT through diet or supplementation.

Who should consume Folic Acid?

The majority of people obtain enough FLT from their diet, therefore FLT deficiency is minimal. However, certain people, in particular, require extra supplements, which may include the following.

1. Pregnant women

The spinal cord is one of the primary parts of the human body to develop in a foetus, and a lack of Folate can result in spinal cord abnormalities. Moreover, it can result in neural tube abnormalities such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

The risks of cleft palate, irregular heartbeat, and premature birth may all be reduced by Folic Acid supplements. 4,000 mcg per day is needed for people with a family history of neuraltube disorders. Those who are breastfeeding should consume 500 mcg of Folic Acid per day.

2. People with mood disorders

Depression may be more common in people with low FLT levels. According to research, around 30% of people suffer from severe depression with FLT deficiency. According to a 2021 study, the level of serum Folate is less than 6.0 nanograms per ml (ng/ml) in people with depressive disorders, which in turn results in increased suicidal behavior.

3. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Ingesting FA before and during early pregnancy may lower the baby's risk of having this disorder.

4. Rheumatoid arthritis patients

FA may be recommended by doctors to complement a methotrexate prescription for rheumatoid arthritis. Methotrexate is an excellent treatment for rheumatoid arthritis; however, it may deplete FLT from the body, triggering gastrointestinal problems. According to studies, consuming methotrexate supplements containing FLT may lessen the rheumatism effects by about 79%.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions and answers related to Folate and Folic Acid Ayurvedic Medicine.


What are the food sources of Folic Acid?

Folic acid can be found in a variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), citrus fruits, beans, peas, nuts, and fortified cereals and bread.

Who may need to take Folic Acid supplements?

Women if pregnant or plan to become pregnant are often recommended to take a Folic Acid supplement, as it can help prevent certain birth defects. People with certain medical conditions, such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease, may also need to take FA supplements to ensure they are getting enough of this vitamin.

What are the side effects of Folic Acid overdose?

Studies show that having too much unmetabolized FA in the blood may increase the risk of developing certain cancers, anaemia, and insulin resistance.

Who should not take Folic Acid?

People with the following conditions should consult a doctor before consuming FA supplements.

  • Epilepsy

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Lupus

  • Inflammatory bowel disease 

  • Celiac disease


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions. Folic Acid is written as FA and Folate as FLT in this article.


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