Health Professionals:

Folate and Requirements

The Institute of Medicine has established the following Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for folate:

Age/Gender Group Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
Micrograms DFE* per day
Infants (0-6 months) 65**
Infants (7-12 months) 80**
Children (1-3 years) 150
Children (4-8 years) 200
Children (9-13 years) 300
Adolescents (14-18 years) 400
Adults (19 years+) 400
Pregnant Women*** 600
Lactating Women 500

Source : Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington DC: National Academy Press; 1998.

*DFE = dietary folate equivalents.
Adequate Intake value.
***Women are recommended to continue to get 400 micrograms of folic acid from supplements or fortified foods until their pregnancy is confirmed and they begin prenatal care.

Health professional

Folic acid, the synthetic form of the vitamin, is more readily absorbed by the body compared to food folate, the natural form of the vitamin found in certain foods.

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