Deficiency - folic acid, Folic acid deficiency
The best way to get the daily requirement of all essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the Food Guide Pyramid. Most people in the United States eat enough folic acid because it is plentiful in the food supply.
Folate occurs naturally in the following foods:
- Beans and legumes
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Wheat bran and other whole grains
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Poultry, pork, and shellfish
The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board recommends that adults should have 400 micrograms of folate daily. Women capable of becoming pregnant should receive this amount with folic acid supplements, not just fortified foods, to ensure the proper daily intake.
Specific recommendations depend on a person's age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). Many foods now have extra folic acid added to help prevent birth defects.
Antony AC. Megaloblastic anemias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 170.
Hamrick I, Counts SH. Vitamin and mineral supplements. Wellness and Prevention. 2008;35:729-747.
Review Date: 08/09/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.