Vitamin B9 (folic acid): what it is for

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Vitamin B9

"It is now well known the importance of vitamin B9 or folic acid for correct embryonic and fetal development, in particular for the prevention of a serious malformation known as spina bifida "points out the professor." In addition, it intervenes in the formation of red blood cells, in the construction of the genetic patrimony and in the production of amino acids. Very useful for the mother to prevent anemia ".

Foods with vitamin B9

  • Vegetables a green leaf (chard, spinach, broccoli),
  • tomatoes,
  • oranges,
  • legumes,
  • Whole grains,
  • liver.

Considering the increased need during pregnancy and its important preventive function, supplementation is usually recommended from the moment you start looking for a pregnancy, so before conception and for at least the first 3 months of gestation.

In this article

  • Benefits of vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12

Benefits of Vitamin B9

It is important that the Vitamin B9 is present in optimal quantities in our organism to ensure oxygenation and normal development of tissues, especially those in growth, such as embryonic ones. Furthermore, its presence has been shown to decrease the levels of an amino acid, the homocysteine, which - if high - increases the risk of diseases of the cardiovascular and heart systems.

Vitamin B9 and pregnancy

Regular use of folic acid, started before conception, reduces the risk of developing severe birth defects such as Neural Tube Defects (NTDs). Supplementation also reduces the risk of developing other birth defects by 20%. However, a diet rich in folate and vitamin B9 is not enough to cover the increased needs that occur during pregnancy. It is therefore necessary to supplement it.

The daily consumption of a folic acid tablet in a daily dose of 0,4 mg is recommended. She is advised to start taking it when she decides to have a child, as the neural tube closes between the 17th and 29th of conception, when the woman has not yet ascertained her pregnancy. It is important to continue taking it until the third month of pregnancy.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is involved in the synthesis of genetic material, in the metabolism of some amino acids and in the formation of red blood cells. Together with folic acid, helps prevent fetal malformations. It also prevents vascular diseases and maternal anemia.

It is contained in foods of animal origin. 

Here is a list of foods that contain it:

  • liver and offal
  • seafood
  • tuna
  • cod
  • sardine
  • mackerel
  • eggs
  • salmon
  • milk and derivatives
  • beef and lamb
  • fortified cereals with Vitamin B12

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Consulting of the professor, head of the OU of obstetrics and gynecology at the Luigi Sacco Hospital in our city and Professor of the University of our city, and of the doctor, Food Technologist and PhD in Experimental and Clinical Nutrition .

  • Vitamins
  • mineral salts
  • pregnancy feeding
  • pregnancy diet
  • fruit
  • vegetable children
  • vitamin b9
  • folic acid
  • spina bifida
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