How do you know if you aren’t getting enough vitamin B9?
Since vitamin B9 is found in most foods, a deficiency is unlikely. Still, some conditions may raise the risk, including:
- Pregnancy. Folate is vital during pregnancy since it helps develop cells of the fetus.
- Alcoholism. Alcohol impairs the body’s ability to absorb folate. Plus, it increases how quickly your body breaks down and excretes folate from the body. Finally, most people with alcoholism have poor diets with few foods that contain vitamin B9.
- Genetic variants. Some people carry a variant of the gene MTHFR. As a result, they cannot activate folate within their body so that their body can use it.
- Digestive disorders and intestinal surgeries. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease lower folate absorption. Additionally, surgeries that lower stomach acid levels or involve digestive organs may lower the absorption of folate.