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Vitamins play a crucial role in metabolic processes, function as antioxidants, and support the immune system. The body can obtain them from food, synthesize them from food, or, for example, produce them under the influence of sunlight (as in the case of vitamin D). Folate is also known as vitamin B11 and, in some countries, as B9.


Folate is necessary for growth, proper bodily function, and the production of white and red blood cells. It also plays a significant role in the early development of an unborn child. It contributes to the formation of the nervous system, which starts developing from the first day after conception. It reduces the risk of birth defects such as neural tube defects or spina bifida. It is also associated with a lower risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and potentially cleft lip and palate.


It naturally occurs in vegetables, especially the green varieties, whole grain products, bread, meat, and dairy. It is heat unstable, and 40% is lost during freezing/thawing.


A deficiency can arise from inadequate intake or prolonged excessive alcohol consumption. It can lead to anemia, intestinal disorders, and fatigue. It can be supplemented by consuming foods rich in this vitamin or by using a supplement.


Excessive intake from food is not harmful. However, supplements can make the detection of a vitamin B12 deficiency more difficult.


It is advised to take a supplement of 400 micrograms of folate if you are planning to become pregnant. The recommendation is to start taking the supplement about 4 weeks before potential conception. The supplement is no longer necessary from the tenth week of pregnancy. If you discover your pregnancy later, it is not harmful to you or the baby.

If you would like to learn more about your vitamin status, Book a Vitamins & Minerals or PMO uitgebreid test.


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