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Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B9 (Folate)


Vitamin B9 (aka: folate, folicin, folic-acid) is a water-soluble B vitamin with many rich natural sources. Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 found in fortified foods and supplements. As with most vitamins, the natural form of vitamin B9 (folate) is preferred, and better for absorption. Vitamin B9 (folate) is required for numerous body functions including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and cell growth. A deficiency of folate can lead to anemia in adults, and slower development in children. For pregnant women, folate is especially important for proper fetal development. Folate, Vitamin B9, is a water soluble vitamin that is well regulated by the body, thus overdose is rare in natural food sources, and can only occur from supplements. The current DV for Folate (Vitamin B9) is 400μg. Below is a list high folate foods, click here for high vitamin B9 (folate) foods by nutrient density, here for an extended list of folate rich foods, and here for other vitamin B foods.

#1: Beans (Black Eyed Peas - Cooked)
Folate in 100gPer cup (171g)Per ounce (28g)
208g (52% DV)356g (89% DV)58g (15% DV)
Other Beans High in Folate (%DV per cup cooked): Mung Beans (80%), Pinto Beans (74%), Chickpeas (71%), Pink Beans (71%), Lima Beans (68%), Black Beans (64%), Navy Beans (64%), and Kidney Beans (58%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#2: Lentils (Cooked)
Folate in 100gPer cup (198g)Per tablespoon (12g)
181g (45% DV)358g (90% DV)22g (5% DV)
Half a cup of cooked lentils contains 115 calories and less than half a gram of fat. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#3: Spinach (Raw)
Folate in 100gPer cup (30g)Per cup (Cooked - 180g)
194g (49% DV)58g (15% DV)263g (66% DV)
Other Dark Green Leafy Vegetables High in Folate (%DV per cup cooked): Turnip Greens (42%), Pak Choi (Chinese Cabbage)(17%), Savoy Cabbage (17%), and Collard Greens (8%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#4: Asparagus (Cooked)
Folate in 100gPer 1/2 cup (90g)Per 4 spears (60g)
149g (37% DV)134g (34% DV)89g (22% DV)
Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#5: Lettuce (Cos or Romaine)
Folate in 100gPer 3oz Serving (85g)Per cup (Shredded - 47g)
136g (34% DV)116g (29% DV)64g (16% DV)
Other Lettuce High in Folate (%DV per cup shredded): Endive (18%), Butterhead (10%), Salad Cress (10%), Chicory (8%), and Arugula (4%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#6: Avocado
Folate in 100gPer cup cubed (150g)Per avocado (201g)
81g (20% DV)122g (30% DV)163g (41% DV)
Half an avocado contains 161 calories. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#7: Broccoli (Cooked)
Folate in 100gPer 1/2 cup chopped (78g)Per stalk (180g)
108g (27% DV)84g (21% DV)194g (49% DV)
Other Brassica Vegetables High in Folate (%DV per cup cooked): Chinese Broccoli (22%), Broccoli Raab (15%), and Cauliflower (14%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#8: Tropical Fruits (Mango)
Folate in 100gPer cup (Pieces - 165g)Per fruit (336g)
43g (11% DV)71g (18% DV)145g (36% DV)
Other Tropical Fruit High in Folate (%DV per fruit): Pomegranate (27%), Papaya (15%), Guava (7%), Kiwi (7%), and Banana (6%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#9: Oranges
Folate in 100gPer cup segments (180g)Per orange (121g)
39g (10% DV)70g (18% DV)47g (12% DV)
A cup of orange juice provides 19% DV for folate. Click to see complete nutrition facts.


#10: Bread (Wheat Bread)
Folate 100g Per slice (29g)Per ounce (28g)
85g (21% DV)25g (6% DV)24g (6% DV)
Other Bread High in Folate (%DV per slice): French Bread (24%), Italian Bread (14%), Wheat Germ Bread (8%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



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Top 10 High Vitamin B9 (Folate) Foods by Nutrient Density (Folate per Gram)

#1: Yeast Extract (Marmite) 3786g (947% DV) per 100 grams227g (57% DV) per teaspoon (6 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Yeast Extract
#2: Bakers Yeast 2340g (585% DV) per 100 grams94g (23% DV) per teaspoon (4 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bakers Yeast
#3: Fortified Cereals (Kellogs All Bran Wheat Flakes) 1379g (345% DV) per 100 grams400g (100% DV) per 3/4 cup (29 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Cereals
#4: Liver (Chicken) 578g (145% DV) per 100 grams254g (64% DV) per liver (44 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liver
#5: Dried Herbs & Spices (Basil) 310g (78% DV) per 100 grams3g (1% DV) per teaspoon (1 gram)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dried Herbs & Spices
#6: Wheat Germ 281g (70% DV) per 100 grams323g (81% DV) per cup (115 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Wheat Germ
#7: Sunflower Seeds 238g (60% DV) per 100 grams67g (17% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sunflower Seeds
#8: Soya Beans (Edamame) 205g (51% DV) per 100 grams191g (48% DV) per cup (93 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Edamame
#9: Parsley (Fresh) 152g (38% DV) per 100 grams6g (2% DV) per tablespoon (4 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fresh Parsley
#10: Peanuts 145g (36% DV) per 100 grams41g (10% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Peanuts


Other Vitamin B9 (Folate) Rich Foods

Fortified Cereals*1390μg (348% DV) per 100 gram serving1075μg (269% DV) in an average bowl (2 cups) (77 grams)537μg (135% DV) per cup (39 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Cereals
Fortified Energy Bars*905μg (226% DV) per 100 gram serving398μg (100% DV) per bar (44 grams)196μg (50% DV) in half a bar (22 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Energy Bars
Shiitake Mushrooms (Dried) 163g (41% DV) per 100 gram serving 25g (6% DV) per 4 mushrooms (15 grams) 7g (2% DV) per mushroom (4 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Shiitake Mushrooms
Artichokes (Cooked) 89g (22% DV) per 100 gram serving 75g (19% DV) per 1/2 cup hearts (84 grams) 107g (27% DV) per artichoke (120 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Artichokes
Tea (Brewed) 5g (1% DV) per 100 gram serving 12g (3% DV) per cup (237 grams) 2g (0% DV) per fluid ounce (30 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tea
Cantaloupe (Muskmelon, Rockmelon or Spanspek)21μg (5% DV) per 100 gram serving37μg (9% DV) in one cup of melon balls (177 grams)21.4μg (5% DV) in 1/8 of a large melon (102 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cantaloupe
Rye Bread 110g (28% DV) per 100 gram serving 31g (8% DV) per ounce (28 grams) 35g (9% DV) per slice (32 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Rye Bread>
Walnuts 98g (25% DV) per 100 gram serving 118g (29% DV) per cup pieces (120 grams) 27g (7% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Walnuts
Flaxseeds87μg (22% DV) per 100 gram serving8.7μg (2% DV) per tablespoon (10 grams)2.61μg (1% DV) per teaspoon (3 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Flax Seeds
Sesame Butter (Tahini)98μg (25% DV) per 100 gram serving14.7μg (4% DV) per tablespoon (15 grams)27.44μg (7% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sesame Butter (Tahini)
Bean Sprouts (Soybeans) 172g (43% DV) per 100 gram serving 60g (15% DV) per 1/2 cup (35 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Bean Sprouts
Green Peas (Cooked) 63g (16% DV) per 100 gram serving 101g (25% DV) per cup (160 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Green Peas
Cauliflower (Frozen, Cooked) 41g (10% DV) per 100 gram serving 74g (18% DV) per cup, pieces (180 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Cauliflower
Okra 60g (15% DV) per 100 gram serving 30g (8% DV) per 1/2 cup (50 grams) 57g (14% DV) per 8 pods (95 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Okra
Celery 36g (9% DV) per 100 gram serving 36g (9% DV) per cup, chopped (101 grams) 23g (6% DV) per stalk (64 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Celery
Leeks (Cooked) 24g (6% DV) per 100 gram serving 12g (4% DV) per 1/2 cup, chopped (52 grams) 30g (7% DV) per leek (124 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Leeks
Spearmint 105g (26% DV) per 100 gram serving 12g (3% DV) per tablespoon (11 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spearmint
Hazelnuts 88g (22% DV) per 100 gram serving 25g (6% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Hazelnuts
Chestnuts 110g (28% DV) per 100 gram serving 31g (8% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Chestnuts
Tomato Juice20μg (5% DV) per 100 gram serving48.6μg (12% DV) per cup (243 grams)36.4μg (9% DV) in 6 fluid ounces (182 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Canned Tomato Juice
Beets 109g (27% DV) per 100 gram serving 148g (37% DV) per cup (136 grams) 89g (22% DV) per beet (82 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Beets
Fish Roe (Caviar) 92g (23% DV) per 100 gram serving 26g (6% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fish Roe
Alaska King Crab 51g (13% DV) per 100 gram serving 68g (17% DV) per leg (134 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Alaskan King Crab
Blue Mussels 76g (19% DV) per 100 gram serving 22g (5% DV) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Blue Mussels
For more foods high in vitamin B9 (Folate) use the nutrient ranking tool.

Health Benefits of Folate (Vitamin B9)

  • Protect Against Heart Disease - Adequate levels of vitamin B9, B6, and B12 have been shown to lower levels of a protein in the blood: homocysteine. Lower levels of homocysteine has been shown to improve endothelial function, which in turn may boost cardiovascular health and decrease risk of heart attacks.3-5
  • Protect and Repair DNA to Reduce Cancer Risk and Slow Aging - Folate (Vitamin B9) is essential for the maintenance and repair of DNA which helps to prevent cancer. Several studies have associated diets low in folate with increased risk of breast, pancreatic, and colon cancer.6-8 Another study has found that absorption of vitamin b12 and folate is essential for DNA metabolism and maintenance which helps to prevent cancer and slow aging.9 Read full blog post here...
  • Decreased Risk of Alzheimer's Disease - Studies suggest that consuming adequate amounts of vitamin B9 (Folate) over a period of at least 10 years results in a decreased risk of contracting Alzheimer's Disease.10,11

People at Risk of a Folate (Vitamin B9) Deficiency

  • Alcoholics - Alcohol interferes with absorption of folate and increases excretion of folate by the kidneys.
  • Pregnant and Lactating Women - Women who are about to become, or are, pregnant need to be sure they have adequate folate in order to reduce risk of premature births, underweight births, and neural tube defects in their infants.
  • People with Malabsorption
  • People on Kidney Dialysis
  • People with Liver Disease
  • People with Certain Anemias
  • People taking Certain Medications
    • Anticonvulsants - like dilantin, phenytoin, and primidone.
    • Metformin - often used for type II diabetes.
    • Sulfasalazine - or possibly other anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory medications.
    • Triamterene - a diuretic
    • Methotrexate - used for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis
    • Barbiturates - used as sedatives

Warnings

  • Vitamin B9 supplements and fortified foods, usually in the form of folic acid, cannot be absorbed by some people, and may hinder absorption of natural dietary B9 (folate). Be sure to check your blood levels of vitamin B9 after starting supplements to be sure they are right for you.
  • If you take folic acid (vitamin B9) suppliments beware the interaction with vitamin B12. Increased folic acid can cure the anemia associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, but cannot cure the neural damage. It is important to maintain both adequate levels of folic acid and vitamin B12.
  • Liver and shell fish (clams, mussels) are high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts and avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • Marmite is made from brewer's yeast, which is high in purines, and should be avoided by people with gout, kidney disease, or arthritis.

Other Vitamin B Foods




Comments.
Name:Korobetsky Nadine
Location:Nimes, France
Subject:Food highest in Vit. B-9 and B-12
Unfortunately the foods you listed also contain potassium and my potassium level is already too high !! I am looking for food with low potassium but high in Vit. B-9 and B-12; Can you help? Thanks.
Posted on 2012-01-28 05:55:56
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Food highest in Vit. B-9 and B-12
Hi Korobetsky, thanks for your question. You can use the nutrient ranking tool to find foods with the highest Vitamin B9 to potassium ratio or Vitamin B12 to potassium ratio. This will tell you which foods give you the most B9 or B12 for the least potassium. Doing a quick search for vitamin B9 it seems that tofu, sunflower seeds, fortified cereals, and liver (pt) may be your best choices. For vitamin B12, maybe just liver (pt) and fortified cereals. These foods, however, still contain potassium and should be eaten in small portions! Check the nutrition label of each product to be sure! If you are really have to limit your potassium intake then you may consider taking vitamin B9 and B12 supplements directly. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-01-28 10:17:48
Name:Searching
Location:Seattle, WA
Subject:Low in Folate & B12
I recently found out I have a high MCV on my CBC. I do have to take the anticonvulsants of Tegretol & Phenobarbital. The list of foods to eat & amts would be very difficult for me at 58 yrs old. I've been taking a Multi B vit. pill per day. Do you think this will suffice to bring my levels up?
Posted on 2012-01-29 00:00:03
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low in Folate & B12
Hi and thanks for your question. There is mixed evidence in the literature about whether or not the supplement will be useful. Anticonvulsants can interfere with the metabolism of folate, so the supplement you are taking may not be properly absorbed or utilized. Further, be sure that your supplement contains vitamin B12, as at least one study shows, taking a folate supplement on anticonvulsants can deplete vitamin B12 levels. Do you have symptoms of anemia? If so, it would be a sign that the supplement is not working well. Also, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking an iron supplement or eating more high iron foods. Be sure to consult your health care provider first.
Posted on 2012-01-29 03:10:15
Name:Sarah
Location:Los Angeles
Subject:Kiwifruit?
Hi, I don't believe I saw Kiwifruit on your list. It has more folate than bananas at 38.2 per 100 grams as per the USDA Nutrient Database 2011 (release 24). Think about adding kiwifruit to your list...Thanks, Sarah.
Posted on 2013-02-26 11:17:16
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Kiwifruit
Hi Sarah, thanks for your suggestion. Kiwifruit has now been added to the extended list of folate rich foods. However, looking at the nutrition facts, kiwifruit only provides 25μg, not 38.2μg, per 100 gram serving. This is true to the Kiwifruit data from the Nutrition Database Release 25.
Posted on 2013-02-27 17:14:39
Name:Chris
Location:Alabama
Subject:Folate (natural) vs. Folic Acid synthetic
Hi, thanks for the food info.

I just wanted to point out though that folic acid and folate are not the same chemical substance. Folate is the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 found in plants, meat and other food sources. Folic acid is a synthetic form of B9 created in a lab and added to many foods. Some people, like myself, can not digest folic acid properly and having it in our food can actually block us from absorbing the naturally occurring folate making our deficiency even worse.

Posted on 2014-01-12 18:02:38
Name:Emma
Location:San Diego
Subject:Folate vs folic acid
I agree with Chris. I also cannot eat folic acid. I need foods rich in folate the natural b9 & b12 vitamins. I have not found a good list. Not a lot of fruit in the list. What about meat, like chicken fish or buffalo?
Posted on 2014-02-08 15:05:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folate vs folic acid
Hi Emma, thanks for your question. The best meat sources of folate and vitamin B12 include liver and shell fish, especially mussels. Bison provides around 4% DV for folate in 3 ounces, and chicken/fin fish provide less. Here are the complete nutrition facts for fish, bison, and chicken. Further you can use the nutrient ranking tool to find sources of folate by different food categories. The article on high vitamin B12 foods can be useful to cross reference. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2014-02-17 23:21:34
Name:Michael
Location:Austin
Subject:Folic Acid is NOT Folate
You replied to all questions on this page except for Chris' comment stating that Folic Acid is not the same as Folate. The nutritional and health effects are profound for a high percentage of the population, at least in the United States where we have so many foods fortified with Folic Acid. Yet your opening line continues to equate them as the same. This is wrong and irresponsible for you to continue - go study up!
Posted on 2014-03-03 22:10:28
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. Do you have any references you can add to your claims to share with everyone? If folic acid is not equal to folate, does this suggest people prescribed folic acid might not be able to stop the supplements by intaking more folate?

In other words, the reason folic acid and folate are equated in this article is to let anyone taking a supplement know they can get the same nutrition naturally from foods. Doing otherwise would also seem irresponsible.

The U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements and many other sources equate the two as well. What Chris is saying is that some people cannot absorb folic-acid, and as a response to this, the introduction will now be changed to highlight this comment. A study showing this being a problem for a "high percentage of the population" seems to be missing however, so please provide a reference!

Posted on 2014-03-04 01:10:28
Name:Michael
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
The government is behind the learning curve on this and has acted with a broad brush approach to get this synthetic nutrient into people's diet. Folic Acid is a synthetic dietary supplement the government decided to mandate that should be in many forms of food such as bread and pasta and cereal. It is not in a naturally occurring form. It is estimated that 20-30 % of the U.S population have MTHFR mutations, depending on race, which reduces or eliminates the enzyme that converts or methylates Folic Acid into Folate, the form which is naturally occurring in many foods, broccoli for example. Up to 10% are homozygous meaning they got a gene from each of their parents and have even greater deficiency of this ability to process Folic Acid into Methyl Folate. http://mthfr.net/ has more info.

Suffice to say that for people who are unable to process Folic Acid, it then builds up in their system to toxic levels...and the lack of active Folate may cause a host of problems ranging from heart disease, cancer, thyroid problems, mental health problems such as depression and schizophrenia.

While there are some benefits in specific cases, pregnant women especially. However if a pregnant woman is MTHfR positive then she is at risk for not getting the folate she was after in the first place.

These mutations, most commonly, C677T and A1298C, have only been understood since the 1990's when medicine was starting to process the human genome and the variations therein.

You are correct that people can and should get their Folate naturally from foods. My only point is that many people cannot get Folate as or from synthetic Folic acid. I consider 10-20% high enough that we shouldn't be "fortifying" our diets across the general population. I was surprised too. Some ethnic groups are higher still: Jewish

Here is one study: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/165/1/1.full

Posted on 2014-03-04 08:22:40
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi Michael, thanks for your more detailed comment. It is true that our understanding of nutrition is now moving to a personal level so that people can better tailor their diets to their genetics. As this process happens however, caution should be exercised before suggesting changes to the status quo. Even the article you linked to above states only an association between a gene and psychological disorders. This is a far cry from being able to implicate folic acid as the cause. While it is good to write a comment about it and make people aware of the issue, it is a bit questionable to push further for policy changes.

Some of the "references" you included have been edited out since the sites appeared to have an agenda and thus lose objectivity. If you want to argue this issue please include your email in the next comment to take the conversation there. If you wish to comment further on this issue please only references scientific articles/abstracts or government sites with less of a conflict of interest. Thank you.

Posted on 2014-03-04 15:48:04
Name:Michael
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi I don't mind the edit, it's your site. But considering your statement "As this process happens however, caution should be exercised before suggesting changes to the status quo."

This is exactly my concern when the government decides to change the status quo for everyone by mandating fortification of so many foods without understanding the effects completely.

They only did this in 1996, and the reasoning was for the benefit of pregnant women. While noble in it's intent, most of the population are not pregnant women, i.e.,men, boys and young girls. The recommendations you make on this page to acquire folate via food are quite correct imho, but forcing a synthetic additive on a largely unknowing public I find to be a more specious agenda. The genetic mutations were only discovered in the early 90s . . these genetics are not an agenda, they are fact.

My main issue is to be clear, when educating people, that Folic acid and Folate are not equivalent. Folic acid has no rich natural sources; it is synthetic. This is not an agenda. This is a fact.

Thanks for the debate.

Posted on 2014-03-04 21:19:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi Michael, thanks for your further comments. It is true that nutrition and science go through fads, and the "authorities" make mistakes. There was a time when doctors recommended cigarettes, and writing a history of nutrition and medicine would surely bring up many similar examples (like eggs and cholesterol). What you are saying about folic acid may well be valid, but is out of the scope of what this article is trying to achieve. Still the spirit of this website endorses natural foods over supplements almost all the time. There are select group of people who do need supplements however. That said, the introduction has been changed to reflect that folic acid is sub-optimal for vitamin B9, and a note will also be added to the warnings section stating the same. Thanks for your comments.
Posted on 2014-03-05 01:36:52

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Comments.
Name:Korobetsky Nadine
Location:Nimes, France
Subject:Food highest in Vit. B-9 and B-12
Unfortunately the foods you listed also contain potassium and my potassium level is already too high !! I am looking for food with low potassium but high in Vit. B-9 and B-12; Can you help? Thanks.
Posted on 2012-01-28 05:55:56
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Food highest in Vit. B-9 and B-12
Hi Korobetsky, thanks for your question. You can use the nutrient ranking tool to find foods with the highest Vitamin B9 to potassium ratio or Vitamin B12 to potassium ratio. This will tell you which foods give you the most B9 or B12 for the least potassium. Doing a quick search for vitamin B9 it seems that tofu, sunflower seeds, fortified cereals, and liver (pt) may be your best choices. For vitamin B12, maybe just liver (pt) and fortified cereals. These foods, however, still contain potassium and should be eaten in small portions! Check the nutrition label of each product to be sure! If you are really have to limit your potassium intake then you may consider taking vitamin B9 and B12 supplements directly. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-01-28 10:17:48
Name:Searching
Location:Seattle, WA
Subject:Low in Folate & B12
I recently found out I have a high MCV on my CBC. I do have to take the anticonvulsants of Tegretol & Phenobarbital. The list of foods to eat & amts would be very difficult for me at 58 yrs old. I've been taking a Multi B vit. pill per day. Do you think this will suffice to bring my levels up?
Posted on 2012-01-29 00:00:03
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low in Folate & B12
Hi and thanks for your question. There is mixed evidence in the literature about whether or not the supplement will be useful. Anticonvulsants can interfere with the metabolism of folate, so the supplement you are taking may not be properly absorbed or utilized. Further, be sure that your supplement contains vitamin B12, as at least one study shows, taking a folate supplement on anticonvulsants can deplete vitamin B12 levels. Do you have symptoms of anemia? If so, it would be a sign that the supplement is not working well. Also, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking an iron supplement or eating more high iron foods. Be sure to consult your health care provider first.
Posted on 2012-01-29 03:10:15
Name:Sarah
Location:Los Angeles
Subject:Kiwifruit?
Hi, I don't believe I saw Kiwifruit on your list. It has more folate than bananas at 38.2 per 100 grams as per the USDA Nutrient Database 2011 (release 24). Think about adding kiwifruit to your list...Thanks, Sarah.
Posted on 2013-02-26 11:17:16
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Kiwifruit
Hi Sarah, thanks for your suggestion. Kiwifruit has now been added to the extended list of folate rich foods. However, looking at the nutrition facts, kiwifruit only provides 25μg, not 38.2μg, per 100 gram serving. This is true to the Kiwifruit data from the Nutrition Database Release 25.
Posted on 2013-02-27 17:14:39
Name:Chris
Location:Alabama
Subject:Folate (natural) vs. Folic Acid synthetic
Hi, thanks for the food info.

I just wanted to point out though that folic acid and folate are not the same chemical substance. Folate is the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 found in plants, meat and other food sources. Folic acid is a synthetic form of B9 created in a lab and added to many foods. Some people, like myself, can not digest folic acid properly and having it in our food can actually block us from absorbing the naturally occurring folate making our deficiency even worse.

Posted on 2014-01-12 18:02:38
Name:Emma
Location:San Diego
Subject:Folate vs folic acid
I agree with Chris. I also cannot eat folic acid. I need foods rich in folate the natural b9 & b12 vitamins. I have not found a good list. Not a lot of fruit in the list. What about meat, like chicken fish or buffalo?
Posted on 2014-02-08 15:05:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folate vs folic acid
Hi Emma, thanks for your question. The best meat sources of folate and vitamin B12 include liver and shell fish, especially mussels. Bison provides around 4% DV for folate in 3 ounces, and chicken/fin fish provide less. Here are the complete nutrition facts for fish, bison, and chicken. Further you can use the nutrient ranking tool to find sources of folate by different food categories. The article on high vitamin B12 foods can be useful to cross reference. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2014-02-17 23:21:34
Name:Michael
Location:Austin
Subject:Folic Acid is NOT Folate
You replied to all questions on this page except for Chris' comment stating that Folic Acid is not the same as Folate. The nutritional and health effects are profound for a high percentage of the population, at least in the United States where we have so many foods fortified with Folic Acid. Yet your opening line continues to equate them as the same. This is wrong and irresponsible for you to continue - go study up!
Posted on 2014-03-03 22:10:28
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi Michael, thanks for your comment. Do you have any references you can add to your claims to share with everyone? If folic acid is not equal to folate, does this suggest people prescribed folic acid might not be able to stop the supplements by intaking more folate?

In other words, the reason folic acid and folate are equated in this article is to let anyone taking a supplement know they can get the same nutrition naturally from foods. Doing otherwise would also seem irresponsible.

The U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements and many other sources equate the two as well. What Chris is saying is that some people cannot absorb folic-acid, and as a response to this, the introduction will now be changed to highlight this comment. A study showing this being a problem for a "high percentage of the population" seems to be missing however, so please provide a reference!

Posted on 2014-03-04 01:10:28
Name:Michael
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
The government is behind the learning curve on this and has acted with a broad brush approach to get this synthetic nutrient into people's diet. Folic Acid is a synthetic dietary supplement the government decided to mandate that should be in many forms of food such as bread and pasta and cereal. It is not in a naturally occurring form. It is estimated that 20-30 % of the U.S population have MTHFR mutations, depending on race, which reduces or eliminates the enzyme that converts or methylates Folic Acid into Folate, the form which is naturally occurring in many foods, broccoli for example. Up to 10% are homozygous meaning they got a gene from each of their parents and have even greater deficiency of this ability to process Folic Acid into Methyl Folate. http://mthfr.net/ has more info.

Suffice to say that for people who are unable to process Folic Acid, it then builds up in their system to toxic levels...and the lack of active Folate may cause a host of problems ranging from heart disease, cancer, thyroid problems, mental health problems such as depression and schizophrenia.

While there are some benefits in specific cases, pregnant women especially. However if a pregnant woman is MTHfR positive then she is at risk for not getting the folate she was after in the first place.

These mutations, most commonly, C677T and A1298C, have only been understood since the 1990's when medicine was starting to process the human genome and the variations therein.

You are correct that people can and should get their Folate naturally from foods. My only point is that many people cannot get Folate as or from synthetic Folic acid. I consider 10-20% high enough that we shouldn't be "fortifying" our diets across the general population. I was surprised too. Some ethnic groups are higher still: Jewish

Here is one study: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/165/1/1.full

Posted on 2014-03-04 08:22:40
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi Michael, thanks for your more detailed comment. It is true that our understanding of nutrition is now moving to a personal level so that people can better tailor their diets to their genetics. As this process happens however, caution should be exercised before suggesting changes to the status quo. Even the article you linked to above states only an association between a gene and psychological disorders. This is a far cry from being able to implicate folic acid as the cause. While it is good to write a comment about it and make people aware of the issue, it is a bit questionable to push further for policy changes.

Some of the "references" you included have been edited out since the sites appeared to have an agenda and thus lose objectivity. If you want to argue this issue please include your email in the next comment to take the conversation there. If you wish to comment further on this issue please only references scientific articles/abstracts or government sites with less of a conflict of interest. Thank you.

Posted on 2014-03-04 15:48:04
Name:Michael
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi I don't mind the edit, it's your site. But considering your statement "As this process happens however, caution should be exercised before suggesting changes to the status quo."

This is exactly my concern when the government decides to change the status quo for everyone by mandating fortification of so many foods without understanding the effects completely.

They only did this in 1996, and the reasoning was for the benefit of pregnant women. While noble in it's intent, most of the population are not pregnant women, i.e.,men, boys and young girls. The recommendations you make on this page to acquire folate via food are quite correct imho, but forcing a synthetic additive on a largely unknowing public I find to be a more specious agenda. The genetic mutations were only discovered in the early 90s . . these genetics are not an agenda, they are fact.

My main issue is to be clear, when educating people, that Folic acid and Folate are not equivalent. Folic acid has no rich natural sources; it is synthetic. This is not an agenda. This is a fact.

Thanks for the debate.

Posted on 2014-03-04 21:19:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Folic Acid is NOT Folate
Hi Michael, thanks for your further comments. It is true that nutrition and science go through fads, and the "authorities" make mistakes. There was a time when doctors recommended cigarettes, and writing a history of nutrition and medicine would surely bring up many similar examples (like eggs and cholesterol). What you are saying about folic acid may well be valid, but is out of the scope of what this article is trying to achieve. Still the spirit of this website endorses natural foods over supplements almost all the time. There are select group of people who do need supplements however. That said, the introduction has been changed to reflect that folic acid is sub-optimal for vitamin B9, and a note will also be added to the warnings section stating the same. Thanks for your comments.
Posted on 2014-03-05 01:36:52

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References

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  2. Office Of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet: Folate
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