Vitamin B9 is a group of chemically different compounds, also known as Folic Acid. Get information on the health benefits, sources, functions and deficiency of Vitamin B9.

Vitamin B9 Benefits

Vitamin B9 is a water-soluble vitamin that is used by the body for carrying out the metabolic processes. It is also known by the name of Folic Acid, Pteroylglutamic Acid, Folate and Folacin. The vitamin comprises of a group of chemically different compounds, of which the simplest form is petroglutamic acid (PGA). It is yellow is nature and can be easily destroyed by light. In the following lines, we have provided some more information on the health benefits, sources, functions and deficiency of Vitamin B9, to help you explore it fully.
Health Benefits 
  • It reduces the levels of an amino acid (homocysteine) in the body, providing protection against heart disease.
  • It diminishes the risk of neural tube as well as other birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate and certain congenital heart defects.
  • It protects the body against certain forms of cancer and heart disease.
  • It acts as a coenzyme in the transfer of formyl and hydroxymethyl groups in different biological systems and in the carbon metabolism.
  • It is used in the treatment of the megaloblastic anaemia.
  • It helps the body get rid of Homocysteine, a blood toxin that affects heart muscle and makes cholesterol deposit in heart muscle.
  • It is believed to be useful in preventing stroke and heart attack.
  • It aids digestion and is also good for the nervous system.
  • It helps in improving mental as well as emotional health.
  • It has been found useful in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
  • It has been found to be helpful in improving ulcerative colitis symptoms.
  • Studies have shown that it reduces the number of abnormal or precancerous bronchial cells in smokers. 
Recommended Daily Intake
Age Group
Male (mg/day)
Female (mg/day)
0-6 months 
65 (AI)
65 (AI)
7-12 months 
80 (AI)   
80 (AI)   
1-3 years 
4-8 years 
9-13 years   
14-18 years
19-59 years and above
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Brown rice
  • Cauliflower
  • Cheese
  • Dry beans, legumes and peas
  • Fortified cereals and grain products
  • Fortified juices
  • Fruits, especially bananas, oranges
  • Green-leafy vegetables
  • Kidney
  • Lentils
  • Liver
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Root vegetables, such as carrot, turnip
  • Necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids
  • Required for the formation of heme, the pigmented, iron-carrying component of the hemoglobin in red blood cells
  • Essential for efficient neural tube development during pregnancy
  • Vital for synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acids in the nuclei of the cells
  • Has a role in the formation and maturation of the red cells
  • Helps in the synthesis of nucleic acid
  • Important for the production, growth and maintenance of new cells
  • Involved in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, which regulate mood, sleep and hunger 
The following symptoms will be seen in case of deficiency of Vitamin B9. 
  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • Darkish brown, blotchy pigmentation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Graying hair
  • Growth impairment
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Heartburn
  • Impaired brain and nerve functions
  • Insomnia
  • Labored breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malnutrition
  • Megaloblastic anemia, from severe deficiency
  • Memory problems
  • Mental sluggishness
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Paranoia
  • Premature graying of hair
  • Sore and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

How to Cite

Related Articles

More from