Vitamin B9 helps the body make use of other nutrients such as iron & B12 and maintaining optimal levels has shown to offer some protection against stomach, pancreatic and colon cancer.
A deficiency in Vitamin B9/folate may present as constipation, bloating or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Those with Celiac disease are commonly deficient in Vitamin B9/folate.
Good sources of vitamin B9 include beef liver, poultry and leafy green vegetables, especially spinach.
Interestingly, strains of bacteria in a healthy gut can actually synthesize some of the B-vitamins, but this does not include Vitamin B9/folate, so we must obtain it through foods or supplementation.
When it comes to supplementation, it’s important to know that folate and folic acid are not the same. Folate is a naturally occurring substance found in foods, while folic acid is a synthetic supplement. The synthetic form is not well metabolized by most people and can even have negative side effects such as interrupted sleep, hormone changes, and may even lead to deficiencies in other nutrients.
Therefore, if supplementing, I recommend choosing a supplement that contains the naturally occur form of folate.
*As always, consult with your trusted primary health care provider before starting any new supplement.
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