Vitamin B9 works with vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are associated with heart disease, however researchers are not sure whether homocysteine is a cause of heart disease or just a marker that indicates someone may have heart disease.
It is fairly common to have low levels of folic acid. Alcoholism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and celiac disease can cause folic acid deficiency. Also, certain medications may lower levels of folic acid in the body. Folic acid deficiency can cause - poor growth, tongue inflammation, gingivitis, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhea, irritability, forgetfulness, and mental sluggishness.
Daily recommendations for dietary folic acid are:
- Men and women, 19 years and older: 400 mcg (RDA)
- Pregnant women: 600 mcg (RDA)
- Breastfeeding women: 500 mcg (RDA)