Folic acid
Important vitamin for expectant mothers

Folic acid

Food can provide us with vitamins that have important functions in the body. Vitamin B9 - also known as folic acid or folate - plays a special role for women who want to have children and in early pregnancy. Find out here how folic acid works in the body and in which foods it is found.



What is folic acid?

Folic acid is a vitamin and belongs to the vitamins of the B group(vitamin B9). The name folic acid is given to the vitamin in the form of vitamin preparations, i.e. this name stands for the synthetically produced vitamin. In its natural form in food, vitamin B9 is called folate.

Folates are involved in many bodily processes. For example, when cells divide, form new cells or regenerate. They are also involved in blood formation. Folic acid and pregnancy are closely related. For women who want to have children and pregnant women in the first trimester, a sufficient supply of folates is particularly important to contribute to the normal growth of maternal tissue. In addition, folic acid plays an important role in the process of cell division.

The ideal folate level: daily requirement of folic acid

Depending on age and stage of life, people have a different daily requirement of folic acid. In particular, women who wish to have children and pregnant women should pay attention to a diet with folate-rich foods, as they have an increased daily folate requirement:

Age Folate µg/day
Adults 19 to 51 years* 300 µg
Adults 51 and older 300 µg
Pregnant women* 550 µg
Breastfeeding women 450 µg

* Women who want to or might become pregnant should take 400 μg synthetic folic acid/day or equivalent doses of other folates in the form of a preparation in addition to a folate-rich diet to prevent neural tube defects. This additional intake of a folic acid or folate preparation should start at least 4 weeks before the beginning of pregnancy and be maintained during the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

Here you can find the complete table including footnotes of the German Nutrition Society (in German).

Women who want to become pregnant or are in the first third of their pregnancy are recommended by the German Nutrition Society (DGE) to take 400 μg folic acid per day in the form of a folic acid supplement in addition to a diet rich in folate. In this way, the increased daily requirement of folic acid that women who wish to have children and in early pregnancy have can be covered.

Folate-containing foods

Folate-containing foods cover the normal daily requirement of folic acid for children and adults. As a rule, the human body only needs supportive vitamin preparations with folic acid if there is a desire to have children and during pregnancy. However, the basis should always be a balanced diet with folate-rich foods. The following plant and animal foods contain the important folates:

Plant foods Folate per 100 gram
Chickpeas 340 µg
Lentils 170 µg
Peas 159 µg
Leaf spinach 158 µg
Fennel 37 µg
Potato 22 µg
Sweet potato 12 µg
Animal foods Folate per 100 gram
Cow's milk 5 μg
Low fat cow's milk 4.2 μg

Average values according to Souci, Fachmann, Kraut: Food Composition and Nutrition Tables (7th ed.). Munich: C.H.Beck. 2008

Conclusion: Prevent folate deficiency with a balanced diet

Large amounts of folate are therefore found mainly in potatoes, vegetables, pulses and whole milk. However, the body can only store a small amount of the folic acid vitamin. Therefore, a balanced diet - for example, with green vegetables, potatoes and dairy products - is important to supply your body with enough folate on a regular basis. Folates play a role in the process of cell division and contribute to normal blood formation. These processes are significantly stressed during pregnancy. Therefore, women have a higher need during this time. In consultation with your doctor, you can cover this increased folic acid requirement with the help of suitable vitamin preparations, such as Mama Folic Acid+.

Frequently asked questions about folic acid

Which foods contain folate?

Especially potatoes and other potato plants such as sweet potatoes contain large amounts of folate. Green vegetables such as fennel and various dairy products are also rich in folic acid.

Which Rotbäckchen products contain folic acid?

The food supplement Rotbäckchen Mama Folic Acid+ is based on high-quality direct juices and contains 400 µg folic acid per daily portion (90 ml). Therefore, Mama Folic Acid+ contributes to the supply of folic acid in line with requirements during the childbearing phase and up to the end of the 12th week of pregnancy.

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