How is folic acid deficiency treated?

Updated: Sep 14, 2018
  • Author: Katherine Coffey-Vega, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Fruits, vegetables, and fortified foods constitute the primary dietary source of folic acid.

Recommended intakes as published by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies [16] are as follows (RDA=recommended daily allowance, DFE=dietary folate equivalents, UL=tolerable upper level):

  • Adults and teenagers aged 14-19 years (male or female): RDA, 400 mcg DFE; UL, 1000 mcg DFE

  • Pregnant females: RDA, 600 mcg DFE; UL, 1000 mcg DFE

  • Lactating females: RDA, 500 mcg DFE; UL, 1000 mcg DFE

Because of variable absorption rates, an approximation of total folate intake in a day can be calculated as follows:

Grams of DFEs provided = grams of food folate + 1.7 × (grams of folic acid supplementation)

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