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how it works
  • One of the B vitamins (vitamin B9)
  • Helps to prevent anemia
  • Keeps blood vessels and the heart healthy
  • Reduces the risk of some birth defects such as spina bifida
Folate vitaminB9

  • Women of childbearing age need a supplement of 400 µg (0.4mg) folic acid each day in addition to the amount of folate found in a healthy diet.
  • Pregnant women should take a multivitamin containing 400-1000 µg of folic acid and iron.
  • Speak to your doctor about the level of folic acid that is appropriate for you in pregnancy if:
    • you have a family history of or a previous pregnancy affected by an open neural tube defect (for example spina bifida or anencephaly)
    • you are on certain medications, including anti-seizure medications.

Original author:
Theresa Couto, RD
Reviewed by:
Elly Berger, BA, MD, FRCPC, FAAP, MHPE
Francy Pillo-Blocka RD, FDC


Eat Right Ontario (2013). Facts about Folate. Toronto: Dietitians of Canada.
Health Canada (2005). Reference Values for Vitamins ​– Dietary Reference Intakes Tables. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 
Saab, J. & Kalnins, D. (2010). Better Food for Kids. Second Edition. Toronto: The Hospital for Sick Children.