Folic Acid vs Folate Prenatal: Know the Differences

Folic Acid vs Folate Prenatal: Know the Differences

Difference between Folic Acid vs Folate Prenatal: Folic Acid and folate are important for expectant moms. Folic Acid is a man-made version of vitamin B9. It's added to foods and prenatal vitamins. But your body has to change it into methylfolate to use it. Folate is the natural form of B9 in foods like oranges, beans, and spinach. Your body can use folate right away without changing it. Both forms help prevent birth defects in babies' developing brains and spines. The differences between them are small but important for pregnancy nutrition. Some people like Folic Acid because of its stability and accessibility, but others choose methylfolate because it can be used directly, especially for those who have trouble converting Folic Acid. 

Difference between Folic Acid and Folate Prenatal

Due to its stability and ease of absorption, folic acid, a synthetic version of vitamin B9, is frequently used in prenatal vitamins, although folate, the natural form found in foods like leafy greens and legumes. The table below provides the differences between Folic Acid and Folate Prenatal

Aspect

Folic Acid

Folate

Form

Synthetic form of vitamin B9

Naturally occurring form of vitamin B9

Source

Often found in supplements

Found in foods such as leafy greens, legumes, and citrus fruits

Stability

More stable

Less stable, especially in food preparation

Conversion

Requires conversion by the body

Already in bioavailable form

Absorption

Easily absorbed

May vary based on individual metabolism

Recommended Dosage

Typically 600 mcg/day during pregnancy

Typically 600 mcg/day during pregnancy

Supplemental Form

Commonly used in prenatal vitamins

Found in some prenatal supplements marketed as "natural" or "whole-food"



Browse The Best Scrubs Collection!

What is Folic Acid?

Folic Acid is a B vitamin that dissolves in water. It plays an important role in many bodily functions. Folate or vitamin B9 are other names for it. DNA synthesis and repair depend heavily on this vitamin. It's especially crucial during periods of rapid cell division, like pregnancy and infancy. Healthy cell division and growth are promoted by Folic Acid. Additionally, it aids in the production of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, peas, and fortified cereals and grains contain Folic Acid naturally. Pregnant women are often advised to take Folic Acid supplements to prevent birth defects like spina bifida in their unborn babies.

Features of Folic Acid 

  • Neural Tube Development: During the early stages of pregnancy, Folic Acid plays a critical role in the neural tube's development, which ultimately shapes the developing baby's brain and spinal cord. The risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly, can be considerably decreased by consuming an adequate amount of Folic Acid before conception and during the early stages of pregnancy.
  • DNA Synthesis and Repair: Folic Acid is essential for the methylation, synthesis, and repair of DNA. It contributes to the creation and upkeep of new cells, which are necessary for development and growth, particularly during times of fast cell division during pregnancy.
  • Red Blood Cell Formation: The bone marrow needs Folic Acid to produce red blood cells. It assists in the formation of haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen throughout the body, together with vitamins B12 and C. Megaloblastic anaemia, which is typified by big, immature red blood cells, can result from a folate shortage.
  • Homocysteine Metabolism: Folic Acid plays a role in the blood amino acid homocysteine's metabolism. An elevated risk of cardiovascular disease is linked to high homocysteine levels. Together with vitamins B6 and B12, Folic Acid aids in the conversion of homocysteine into other compounds, lowering blood levels of the compound.

What is Folate Prenatal?

Folic Acid, a B vitamin, dissolves in water. It has many uses in the body. Folate or vitamin B9 are other names for it. DNA needs it to be made and fixed. Folic Acid is crucial when cells divide rapidly, like during pregnancy and babyhood. Healthy cell growth and division depend on it. It helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, peas, and fortified cereals and grains contain Folic Acid naturally. Pregnant women often take Folic Acid supplements. This protects their unborn babies from birth defects such as spina bifida.

Features of Folate Prenatal 

  • Neural Tube Development: During the early phases of pregnancy, folate is necessary for the neural tube's healthy development. Consuming enough folate aids in the prevention of neural tube abnormalities such as anencephaly and spina bifida.
  • DNA Synthesis and Cell Division: Folate is required for these two essential processes for the growth and development of the foetus: DNA synthesis and cell division. It supports the development of new tissues and cells in the mother and the growing child.
  • Red Blood Cell Formation: In the bone marrow, folate plays a role in the creation of red blood cells. Megaloblastic anaemia, which is characterised by big, immature red blood cells, is avoided by adequate folate consumption. 
  • Maternal Health: Throughout her pregnancy, a mother's general health and well-being depend on prenatal folate. It aids in the metabolism of homocysteine, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other physiological functions.

Shop Best Lab Coats From Here!

Similarities between Folic Acid and Folate Prenatal

  • Both are types of Vitamin B9: Vitamin B9, or Folic Acid and folate, is necessary for many body processes, such as DNA synthesis, cell division, and the production of red blood cells.
  • Promote Neural Tube Development: In the early phases of pregnancy, Folic Acid and prenatal folate are essential for the healthy development of the neural tube. Sufficient consumption of either type aids in the prevention of neural tube abnormalities such as anencephaly and spina bifida.
  • Prevent Birth Defects: When taken before and during pregnancy, Folic Acid and prenatal folate supplements have been found to lower the incidence of neural tube defects and other congenital abnormalities in babies.

In the end, Folic Acid and folate both work well to supply the essential vitamin B9 during pregnancy; which one to use may rely on personal preferences and advice from medical professionals.

Order the Best Jogger Scrub From Here!

Check out More Articles
Difference Between Cartilage and Bone
Difference Between Endocrine and Exocrine Glands
Difference Between Cell Wall and Cell Membrane

FAQ's

Can I get enough folate from food alone?

Even though a balanced diet full of foods like citrus fruits, lentils, and leafy greens can provide folate, many women, especially those who are pregnant, may not get enough from diet alone. To guarantee sufficient intake, Folic Acid or folate-containing prenatal vitamins are frequently advised.

Is there a difference between Folic Acid and folate in prenatal supplements?

Vitamin B9 comes in two forms: synthetically produced Folic Acid and naturally occurring folate, which can be found in diet. When taken as supplements during pregnancy, they are both beneficial in preventing neural tube abnormalities. Certain prenatal supplements might have folate, while others might contain Folic Acid.

Are there any risks associated with taking Folic Acid supplements during pregnancy?

Healthcare professionals advise taking Folic Acid supplements throughout pregnancy since they are generally thought to be safe. It is crucial to remember not to exceed the recommended dosage of Folic Acid supplements without consulting a doctor, as very high doses of this supplement may conceal the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

For what reason is Folic Acid crucial in pregnancy?

Folic Acid is essential during pregnancy because it helps to prevent neural tube abnormalities (NTDs) including spina bifida and anencephaly in developing foetuses. It also facilitates healthy cell development and division.

What distinguishes folate from Folic Acid?

Vitamin B9 comes in two forms: synthetic (found in supplements and fortified foods) and naturally occurring (found in foods) as folate or Folic Acid. The body transforms both types of folate into its active form. When compared to folate, Folic Acid is more stable and has a better bioavailability.