Folate, or vitamin B9, is one of the B vitamins. Chemically, folates consist of three distinct chemical groups linked together. The pterin (2-amino-4-hydroxy-pteridine) heterocyclic ring is connected by a methylene bridge to a p-aminobenzoyl group which, in turn, is linked by an amide bond to glutamic acid or polyglutamate.

Acido folico -

Among the various forms, calcium methylfolate is the active one: it is characterised by rapid availability, as it is used by the body without undergoing further biotransformation processes.

Acido 5-metiltetraidrofolico - Wikipedia


Alimenti ricchi di acido folico: la lista de Il Giornale del Cibo


Folate naturally present in food is susceptible to destruction by cooking at high heat, especially in the presence of acidic foods and sauces. In addition, being water-soluble, folates may be lost in foods subjected to boiling.

For foods that are normally cooked, the folate value detectable after heat treatment is as follows:

Plant food Folate amount μg/ 100 g weight
Peanuts 246
Sunflower seeds 238
Lentils 181
Chickpeas 172
Asparagus 149
Spinach 146
Lettuce 136
Soya 111
Broccoli 108
Walnuts 98
Peanut butter 92
Hazelnuts 88
Avocado 81
Turnips 80
Black cabbage 65
Bread (not fortified) 65
Savoy cabbage 46
Red peppers 46
Cauliflower 44
Tofu 29
Potatoes 28
Animal feed Folate amount μg/ 100 g weight
Chicken liver 578
Calf liver 331
Cheese 20-60
Salmon 35
Chicken, meat 12
Beef, meat 12
Pork, meat 8
Yoghurt 8-11
Whole milk 5
Salted butter 3



As of 21 December 2018, 81 countries have required food fortification with one or more vitamins: the most commonly fortified vitamin, used in 62 countries, is B9.

The most commonly fortified food is wheat flour, followed by maize and rice flour, with added amounts of folate varying in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 μg/ 100 g.

Flour fortified with folic acid to reduce problems in pregnancy- folates


Folate is known for its role

  • In the cellular synthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins.

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  • In the processes of cell differentiation and duplication, e.g. of blood and skin cells.
  • In the formation of the embryo.

Sviluppo dell'Embrione e del Feto

  • In synergy with vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, in the metabolism and control of homocysteine values, a sulphur amino acid of which a high concentration in the blood is considered a cardiovascular risk factor.

Omocisteina Alta: i Sintomi, le Cause e le Cure |


Therefore, a folate deficiency can lead to:

  • Anaemia.
  • Risk of severe foetal malformations, such as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly: Neural tube defects occur early in pregnancy, especially in the first month, which is why women should have abundant levels of vitamin B9 at the time of conception. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables and pulses (sources of folate) can help reduce the incidence of birth defects; however, food alone is not always sufficient to cover daily requirements, so a diet with food supplements containing folate is necessary during pregnancy. Numerous studies have shown that folate/folic acid supplementation during pregnancy is effective in preventing neural tube defects, reducing the risk of birth defects by up to 70%.

Biochimica Centro Analisi Cliniche: Esami in esenzione per gravidanza