Are vitamin and mineral supplements meaningful?
   Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K
   Water-Soluble  Vitamins:
Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B12 Pantothenic Acid
Folic Acid Vitamin B2 Biotin
Vitamin B6 Niacin
Antioxidants Coenzyme Q10 Melatonin
                Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) - USA - Vitamins and Mineral nutrients
              Recommended Dietary Intake of Vitamins and Mineral Nutrients for Germany (DGE*)

Folic Acid

Folic acid is needed for cell division, the formation of DNA and for the synthesis of protein.

Folic Acid: In-depth

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and belongs to the vitamin B complex. It is an acid with a complex organic structure. Folic acid is a very important vitamin which is indispensable for the division and formation of cells. Along with vitamin B12, folic acid is absolutely essential for the formation of red and white blood cells. They are also vital for the production of blood platelets, needed for the formation of blood clots which help with the healing of wounds. In addition to this, folic acid is also necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids, which contain the genetic information of a cell.

It is possible that the intestinal flora can meet a part of the body's requirements. The intestinal bacteria synthesise folic acid.

Folic acid: Requirement, deficiency, oversupply

Recommended intake of folic acid according to the DGE*




19 - 25

400 µg

400 µg

25 - 51

400 µg

400 µg

51 - 65

400 µg

400 µg

over 65

400 µg

400 µg

*Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung - a German Nutrition Society

The supply of folic acid is frequently insufficient.

An increased rate of cell division or cell formation can cause a folic acid deficiency, for e.g. in the mucosa membranes or the formation of blood cells. Anaemia (insufficient formation of red blood cells) can occur if the blood formation is disturbed. Digestive problems can emerge if the reformation of the intestinal mucosa is affected. A folic acid deficiency during pregnancy can lead to birth defects. Therefore a folic acid supplement or a diet rich in folic acid is usually a matter of principle during pregnancy.

Several medications can also lead to a folic acid deficiency for e.g. anticonvulsants or regular consumption of alcohol.

No adverse effects have been associated with a high dose of folic acid. However, it is not recommended to consume too much folic acid as it can cause a vitamin B12 deficiency. Higher doses of folic acid can help to heal anaemia but it cannot correct the underlying vitamin B12 deficiency which usually leads to irreversible neurological damage.


Folic Acid in food

Liver, green vegetables, beans, milk, spinach, lettuce, whole wheat products and nuts contain a lot of folic acid.

Folic acid in 100 g food:

Liver: 136-592 µg
Wheat germs: 520 µg
Soya beans: 200 µg
Spinach: 145 µg
Lamb's lettuce: 145 µg
Brussels sprouts: 182 µg
Curly kale: 187 µg
Peanuts: 169 µg
Chick peas: 340 µg

Units: 1,000,000 µg = 1 g

The most common vitamin deficiency in Germany is the folic acid deficiency.
There is a reason for this. Folic acid is an extremely sensitive nutrient that can be destroyed during storage. Folic acid is sensitive to light, oxygen and heat. It is also extremely water-soluble so it can easily be washed out.

About 50-90% of the vitamin is lost during food preparation. Vegetables should therefore always be stored in a dark room, washed, steamed or simmered in a minimal amount of water and they should not be kept warm for too long.


Earl Mindell's New Vitamin Bible,
Earl Mindell, Hester Mundis

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, Phyllis A. Balch CNC

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals, 3rd Edition, Alan H. Pressman, Sheila Buff


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