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What You Need to Know About Folate (Vitamin B9)

Folate, also called Vitamin B9, is a vitamin that dissolves in water. It helps keep your blood cells healthy and supports some brain functions. Our bodies can’t store it, so we need to get enough of it regularly.

Getting Folate from Food

About 20% of the folate we need comes from the food we eat. The rest is made by tiny organisms in our guts. These are like our gut’s little helpers.

Why Folate is Important

If we don’t get enough folate, it can cause problems. This happens to quite a few people. To know if you need more folate, you might need a blood test along with other tests to check your health.

Signs of Not Enough Folate

Feeling super tired, like all your energy is gone? That might be because of not enough folate. It could also make you feel dizzy, have trouble breathing, or give you headaches. Your skin might look pale, and your heart might beat faster.

Who Might Not Get Enough Folate

People who don’t eat a mix of good foods, like fruits and vegetables, could be low on folate. So could those who drink a lot of alcohol or have tummy problems. Women who might have babies or are pregnant also need to be careful.

Taking Care of Your Folate Levels

You need to take care of your gut to keep your folate levels good. Good germs in your gut help make folate. Avoiding too much alcohol, eating healthy foods, and not using too many antibiotics helps them stay happy. Foods like broccoli, eggs, greens, and beans have folate, too. But be careful with your liver if you’re pregnant. Some cereals are also made with extra folate.

Doctors, GPs can easily test your folate levels if they suspect that you might be low.

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