How Much Folate Do You Need?

By Joyce Hendley, M.S., July/August 2007

Folate, or Folic Acid is a B vitamin found in fruits and vegetables and beans.

Bottom Line on Folate

Unless you’re a woman of childbearing age, eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and beans is all the folate insurance you’ll likely need; 1⁄2 cup of pinto beans or 1 cup of orange juice or romaine lettuce supplies about one-fifth of the daily requirement. Without even trying, most of us meet our needs with fortified grains like cereals and rice. If you’re over 55, it’s OK to take a basic multivitamin, but don’t take a specific folic-acid supplement, says Morris. “You’re unlikely to need it and it may be harmful.” Women capable of becoming pregnant should consume 400 mcg from supplements or fortified foods in addition to intake of food folate from a varied diet.

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