Folate/Folic acid

Folate is probably the most well-known vitamin in pregnancy. It is one of the water-soluble B vitamins and can occur in different physiologically active forms. Folates are found primarily in leafy greens, such as spinach and lettuce, and in grains (wheat bran and germ). But animal foods such as egg yolk, beef and pork liver are also sources of folate. The synthetic or The industrially produced representative of the vitamin is folic acid. It is used to fortify foods and in dietary supplements (1, 2).  

 

Folate - importance in pregnancy 

Pregnant women consume only a third of the recommended amount of folate in the 1st trimester. The body can then fall back on the body's own stores, but these are quickly exhausted due to the increased need during pregnancy and especially in young mothers who have lower reserves. Rapid succession or multiple pregnancies also represent a particular burden on the folate balance. Especially in the early stages, when many do not yet know that they are pregnant, a folic acid deficiency in the mother can have serious consequences for the unborn child. These include low birth weight, premature birth and miscarriage, birth defects and congenital malformations such as neural tube defects. It should therefore be ensured that there is sufficient intake, even before pregnancy. This can be done through a folate-rich diet and folic acid supplementation agreed with your doctor. But watch out, the folate-rich liver should be consumed by pregnant women, especially in the first trimester should be avoided as it provides excessive amounts of vitamin A, which can be harmful to the fetus (2, 4). 

 

Folate – the most important tasks in brief 

  • Folate contributes to normal amino acid synthesis 
  • Folate contributes to normal blood formation 
  • Folate plays a role in the process of cell division 
  • Folate helps reduce tiredness and fatigue 
  • Folate contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system 
  • Folate contributes to normal psychological function 
  • Folate contributes to normal homocysteine metabolism  
  • Folate contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy (3) 

However, if you have a folate deficiency, the cell division and growth processes in particular are disrupted, which can lead to anemia (1). Consequently, one of the first symptoms is fatigue, followed by pallor, irritability, shortness of breath and dizziness. A severe deficiency can lead to depression, confusion and even dementia (4). 

 

Your daily folate requirement 

The German Society for Nutrition recommends consuming 300 mg folate equivalent* per day. Pregnant women should even consume 550 mg and breastfeeding women 450 mg folate equivalent per day. In addition, women who want or could become pregnant are recommended to take 400 μg folate equivalent in the form of a supplement with a folate-rich diet to prevent a neural tube defect. This additional intake of a folic acid or folate supplement should be started at least 4 weeks before the onset of pregnancy and continued throughout the 1st trimester of pregnancy (1).  

*The different physiologically active forms of folate differ in their bioavailability. The folate equivalent was therefore introduced for a more reliable calculation of folate intake. 1 folate equivalent corresponds to the effect of 1 mg of free folate (2). 

 

Which AgilNature® products contain folic acid?  

Product 

microgram 

* NRV 

FemAgil 

50 mg per capsule 

25% 

MagnesiumAgil 

200 mg pro Tablet 

100% 

VasoAgil  

150 mg per capsule 

75% 

 

*NutrientReference Value=percentage of the reference value according to Annex XIII of the Food Information Regulation VO (EC) No. 1169/2011. 

 

Literature: 

  1. DGE (2018): Selected questions and answers on folate. In: German Society for Nutrition e. V. (DGE). https://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/faqs/folat/#folat (accessed on February 18, 2022) 
  2. Biesalski, Hans Konrad; Bischoff, Stephan C.; Pirlich, Matthias; Weimann, Arved (ed.) (2018): Nutritional Medicine. Based on the curriculum for nutritional medicine of the German Medical Association. With the collaboration of Michael Adolph, Jann Arends, Ulrike Arens-Azevêdo and Christine von Arnim. 5th, completely revised and expanded edition. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag. 
  3. European Commission (2022): Nutrition and Health Claims. In: European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/register/public/?event=search (accessed on 02/18/2022) 
  4. Johnson, Larry E.: Folic Acid Deficiency. In: MSD Manual Patient Edition. Available online at https://www.msdmanuals.com/de-de/heim/feeding disorders/vitamins/folic acid deficiency. (accessed on 02/21/2022)