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Folic acid is an important vital substance from the group of B vitamins. The body mainly needs folic acid to build and repair body cells. A lack of folic acid has far-reaching consequences, especially for the unborn child during pregnancy. However, you should not only ensure an adequate supply of folic acid if you want to have children or if you are pregnant.
The B-vitamin folic acid is involved in many important processes in the body and, therefore, can be used in many ways as a food supplement.
Due to the large selection of different products, it is not easy to choose the right folic acid preparation. We show you what to look out for when you want to buy folic acid in high doses or in lower concentrations.
Regardless of whether you buy folic acid during pregnancy or if you want to have children - you always have the choice between different dosage forms. The B vitamin is mainly offered in capsules but also in drops and powder. Find out more about the properties of the individual variants here.
Besides capsules, folic acid tablets are the most common dosage form. They come in different dosages and can be taken quickly. You can buy folic acid tablets if you value an uncomplicated and precise intake.
A folic acid capsule consists of a (plant-based) shell that is filled with folic acid. Each capsule contains a standardised amount of the B vitamin, so that a targeted and safe substitution is possible. If the capsule shell consists of a vegetable substance, the preparations are also suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
The drops are a water solution that has been enriched with the water-soluble vitamin. The tasteless drops are easy to take and are suitable for people who do not want to swallow tablets or capsules. As a rule, the drops are combination preparations that contain other vitamins and nutrients.
The powder variant also usually contains not only folic acid, but also other vitamins and vital substances. The powder can be placed directly in the mouth or dissolved in water. If the powder is not packed in individual sachets, precise dosing is somewhat more complex.
If you want to buy folic acid, you should pay particular attention to the difference between folic acid and folate. Folic acid is a synthetic compound that the body cannot use directly. It has to first convert it to folate.
Folate is the natural and bioactive form of the vitamin. The folate variant that is taken up by the cells is called L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF) and is simply called methylfolate. The active ingredients Metafolin and Quatrefolic feed this active form of folate directly and therefore have the highest bioavailability. It is estimated that around a quarter of the population has a conversion disorder from folic acid to methylfolate. It is therefore advisable to buy folic acid in the form of methyl folate.
Different doses of folic acid preparations are available. For example, you can buy preparations with doses of 400 or 600 μg or 5 mg. The exact dosage depends on age, gender and on current needs. The dosage recommendation for adolescents and adults is 300 μg per day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women have an increased need of 550 μg and 450 μg, respectively. Recent studies show that the amount needed may even be between 800 and 1000 μg. An increased intake of folic acid is also recommended for women, who want to have children. If you buy folic acid for your desire to have children, you should pay attention to a dosage of at least 400 μg.
At the recommended dosage, folic acid has no observed side effects and is well tolerated. At best, take the folic acid with some liquid with a meal. The time of day is not important. In metabolism, folic acid and vitamin B12 are directly interdependent and have a synergistic effect. A combined intake of folate and vitamin B12 can therefore make sense.
When buying folic acid, you should make sure that the dietary supplement is free of unnecessary additives such as colourings, binders, or fillers. Allergy sufferers should also choose a preparation that does not contain allergens such as soy, shellfish, or nuts. Allergies to folic acid itself are not known.
B vitamins like folic acid are generally well tolerated in the recommended dosage. But even with products of very good quality, there may be incompatibilities in individual cases. If you buy your folic acid online from a retailer with a satisfaction guarantee, you can return it if you do not like it.
You might also be interested in these questions and answers about buying folic acid.
You can find the largest selection of supplements when you buy folic acid online. Some chemists and drugstores offer a small selection on site.
When buying folic acid, you should pay particular attention to the form of the vitamin it contains. Capsules or tablets with 5-MTHF have a high bioavailability and can quickly counteract a folate deficiency. They are also suitable for people who cannot convert folic acid into active folate due to an enzyme defect.
Folic acid is vital for the body and should, therefore, always be taken in sufficient quantities. But the vitamin is extremely sensitive to light, oxygen, and heat. A large part of the folic acid from the food is lost during cooking, so that a healthy intake is not always guaranteed even with a balanced diet. Folic acid is particularly important for mother and child during pregnancy. People with a proven folic acid deficiency, Alzheimer's patients, people with cardiovascular diseases and people with an elevated homocysteine level can also benefit from the supplement.
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