Vitamin Atlas

Vitamin B9: Folate

Vitamin B9: Folate

Vitamin B9 is also called folate, from the Latin word for leaf, because it is commonly found in leafy greens. Folate is an important part of the reactions that create and copy RNA and DNA throughout the body. Folate is especially important during pregnancy, when a deficiency can cause birth defects like spina bifida. Breakfast cereals and flour around the world are often fortified with its synthetic equivalent, folic acid.

What Types of Food Have Folate?

Folate In The World: Bombay Babies

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Click on the button to see how Vitamin B9 plays a role in your:

  • General Cellular Function

General Cellular Function

Vitamin B9 helps make and copy DNA and RNA—the instruction manuals for your cells. You need to create DNA and RNA when your body is making new cells and tissues.

General Cellular Function

Once a parent cell has copied its genetic material, it can divide into two daughter cells. Vitamin B9 is especially important for cells that are constantly being regenerated (like red and white blood cells). It is also important during times of increased growth (like pregnancy and infancy).