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What is vitamin B9 deficiency?

Vitamin B9 is also known as folic acid or folate. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that the body cannot store it and therefore requires a daily supply from the diet. Vitamin B9 is vital for producing red blood cells (RBCs) which contain haemoglobin and also makes and repairs DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Deficiency of vitamin B9 leads to megaloblastic anaemia and is particularly risky if it occurs during pregnancy.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

The main signs and symptoms of vitamin B9 deficiency are:

What are its main causes?

Poor dietary intake leads to folate deficiency. Malabsorption diseases like coeliac disease prevent the absorption of folate from the diet into the blood leading to folate deficiency. Congestive heart failure, dialysis for kidney failure over long periods of time and liver damage can also lead to folate deficiency. Medications like methotrexate, sulfasalazine and medications taken to control seizures also lead to vitamin B9 deficiency.

How is it diagnosed and treated?        

The physician will take a proper history of symptoms and may advise a few laboratory investigations to diagnose the condition. Complete blood count is advised to look for anaemia in patients who are undernourished. Vitamin B9 deficiency causes megaloblastic anaemia, in which the RBCs are larger than normal and are immature. Low vitamin B9 levels in the blood indicate vitamin B9 deficiency. The physician may also obtain a history of medicine intake to rule out malabsorption of vitamin B9 due to other medicines.

Treatment usually includes intake of vitamin B9 supplements. Over-the-counter vitamin B9 tablets are available. Vitamin B9 rich foods, such as eggs, shellfish, beetroot, lentils, peas and green leafy vegetables, are good for overall health.

  1. Medicines for Vitamin B9 deficiency
  2. Doctors for Vitamin B9 deficiency
Dr. Tanmay Bharani

Dr. Tanmay Bharani

एंडोक्राइन ग्रंथियों और होर्मोनेस सम्बन्धी विज्ञान

Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra

Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra

एंडोक्राइन ग्रंथियों और होर्मोनेस सम्बन्धी विज्ञान

Dr. Parjeet Kaur

Dr. Parjeet Kaur

एंडोक्राइन ग्रंथियों और होर्मोनेस सम्बन्धी विज्ञान

Medicines for Vitamin B9 deficiency

Medicines listed below are available for Vitamin B9 deficiency. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
Zifol XtZifol Xt Suspension108
Haem Up FastHaem Up Fast Tablet70
RicharRICHAR CR 100MG TABLET119
Orofer XtOROFER XT SYRUP 150ML123
Haem UpHAEM UP 2.5MG TABLET 10S0
Gabamax GoldGABAMAX GOLD CAPSULE84
Meganeuron PGMEGANEURON PG CAPSULE 10S84
Nervijen P NERVIJEN P CAPSULE 10S139
Nexiron LPNEXIRON LP TABLET 10S80
Pregastar PlusHVHVPREGASTAR PLUS CAPSULE 10S0
Iron + Folic Acid SyrupIron + Folic Acid Syrup28
UnifolUnifol 15 Mcg/500 Mcg Injection85
NvNv Tabcap101
Meaxon Gold InjectionMeaxon Gold Injection77
VitcofolVITCOFOL SYRUP 100ML84
Meaxon PlusMeaxon Plus Injection86
Nervijen PlusNEW NERVIJEN PLUS 0.75MG CAPSULE 10S0

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References

  1. Guilland JC,Aimone-Gastin I. Vitamin B9. Rev Prat. 2013 Oct;63(8):1079, 1081-4. PMID: 24298825
  2. Malouf M,Grimley EJ,Areosa SA. Folic acid with or without vitamin B12 for cognition and dementia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(4):CD004514. PMID: 14584018
  3. Sobczyńska-Malefora A,Harrington DJ. Laboratory assessment of folate (vitamin B9) status. J Clin Pathol. 2018 Nov;71(11):949-956. PMID: 30228213
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Vitamin B9 benefits.
  5. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia.
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