Last updated: 17/10/2022

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In the meantime, vitamin preparations can be bought almost everywhere. On the internet, in pharmacies and in drugstores. The choice of vitamins is very large. Which vitamins should be taken when? In the following guide, we will look at vitamin B9.

With the help of our vitamin B9 test 2022 we look at the mode of action, side effects and other important aspects of taking vitamin B9.




Summary

  • Vitamin B9, which is also called vitamin M or vitamin B11, must be supplied to the body through food, as the body cannot produce it itself. Vitamin B9 is responsible for growth and development processes in the body.
  • Vitamin B9 was first discovered in 1946. Foods with a high vitamin B9 content include meat, liver, eggs, cheese, apple or avocado.
  • Especially for women who wish to become pregnant or during pregnancy, the additional intake of folic acid is recommended.

The Best Vitamin B9: Our Picks

Buying and review criteria for vitamin B9

When buying vitamin B9, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don’t give your body anything it doesn’t need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer’s certificates.

Ingredients

The ingredients of the vitamin B9 tablet or capsule are important. There are high-dose tablets that contain only vitamin B9. However, there are also tablets or capsules that contain vitamin B9 as well as additional vitamins such as vitamin B2 or vitamin B12.

Besides additional vitamins, a vitamin B9 tablet or capsule can contain additional minerals. These minerals can be iodine, magnesium or iron, for example. You should check the ingredients to see which vitamins and minerals are included and whether you have any allergies.

Dosage

The dosage of the vitamin B9 tablet can be high. This means that one tablet contains 1 milligram of folic acid, as vitamin B9 is also called. You should make sure that this dosage is suitable for your body.

The vitamin B9 dosage is lower in combination preparations. This is because other vitamins, minerals or nutrients are also included. In combination preparations, the dosage of the various ingredients is coordinated with each other.

Package size

The pack sizes of the various folic acid tablets or capsules differ. This depends on whether you have bought high-dose vitamin B9 tablets or capsules or combined preparations. However, since you are usually supposed to take one tablet or capsule every day, the package sizes are adapted to this.

For example, a can of high-dose vitamin B9 tablets may contain 180 tablets. This would be enough for about half a year.

Shelf life

The shelf life of vitamin B9 tablets or capsules is very long, as with other tablets. You do not need to store vitamin B9 tablets or vitamin B9 capsules in a cool or dry place.

You can store them like your other tablets.

In addition, the folic acid tablets or capsules are packed in tins or stored individually. This gives them extra protection and you don’t have to worry about storing your vitamin B9 tablets or capsules.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about vitamin B9 answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of vitamin B9 and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is vitamin B9 and how does it work?

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of vitamin B9 and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information for you in the following sections.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is not produced by the body and must be ingested through food. (Image source: S O C I A L . C U T / Unsplash).

Vitamin B9 is essential for the human body and cannot be produced by the body itself. Therefore, an intake of vitamin B9 through food or tablets is important.

Folate is the umbrella term for a water-soluble B vitamin that, in the form of various folate compounds, participates in various growth and development processes, such as cell division, in the body.

The synthetic form of vitamin B9 is called folic acid.

Folic acid is more resistant to heat, oxygen and light than the folate in food, which is why it is added to food industrially. Folic acid can also be better utilised by the body.

Effect on women of childbearing age

The intake of folic acid is particularly important for women before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after pregnancy during breastfeeding.(1)

Vitamin B9

During pregnancy, it is particularly important to take folic acid for the development of the child. (Image source: Camylla Battani / Unsplah).

In particular, the intake of folic acid is recommended during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.(1) According to studies from 2008, the intake of folic acid or vitamin B9 could have effects on the healthy development of the foetus. (2) A deficiency of vitamin B9 during pregnancy can increase the risk of congenital malformations in the child.(3)

Effects on depression

Depression can be caused by various situations. In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 5.2 percent of the population in Germany suffer from depression. This corresponds to approximately 4.1 million people. Various studies look at the effect of vitamin B9 as a supplement for the treatment of depression. Folate, which is an umbrella term for water-soluble vitamin B, could play an important role as a supplement to other treatments for depression.(4, 5)

Effect on pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most common cancers of all. The result of this study, in which scientists investigated the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, showed that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer was reduced when high doses of folic acid were taken.(6)

Another study looked at the risk of pancreatic cancer and found that low folate levels, in addition to genetic factors, could play a role in developing pancreatic cancer. (7)

When and for whom is it useful to take vitamin B9?

Taking vitamin B9 could be helpful for the following people. You should first check with your doctor whether taking vitamin B9 is useful for you.

  • People who want to have children
  • During pregnancy
  • People suffering from depression
  • People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease
  • People with anaemia

Before you start taking vitamin B9 on your own, you should discuss with your doctor whether you should take vitamin B9 and in what quantity.

How does a vitamin B9 deficiency manifest itself?

As with other vitamins and nutrients, vitamin B9 deficiency can occur. Since vitamin B9 supports the body’s growth and development processes, a long-term vitamin B9 deficiency can lead to anaemia.

During pregnancy, a vitamin B9 deficiency increases the risk of congenital malformations of the child, such as an “open back”. (2, 3) An unbalanced diet and excessive alcohol consumption can promote vitamin B9 deficiency. (8) If you suspect an undersupply of vitamin B9, you should ask your doctor for a diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of a vitamin B9 overdose?

What happens if you take too much vitamin B9? Overexposure to folic acid, the synthetic compound of vitamin B9 used in supplements and fortified foods, has been linked to adverse health effects in the study. (9) In addition, high folate status can lead to digestive system disorders.(10)

More specific symptoms were not explicitly mentioned in the study. If you feel unwell after taking vitamin B9, you should contact your doctor immediately to discuss how to proceed.

What are the side effects of vitamin B9?

No intolerances or side effects have been discovered so far, but this is due to the insufficient number of studies. Therefore, you should basically assume that vitamin B9, like any other medicine or remedy, carries a certain risk.

First test a small amount to see if you have an intolerance to vitamin B9.

It is best to use the synthetic variant folic acid before and during pregnancy only in consultation with your doctor.

How much do vitamin B9 products cost?

The price of vitamin B9 products varies depending on the form of administration. We have listed the most common products in the following table:

Dosage form price
High-dose vitamin B9 tablet approx. 10 – 20 euros
Vitamin B9 especially for children approx. 10 – 20 euros
Vitamin B9 complex approx. 15 – 30 euros

The high-dose vitamin B9 tablet costs about the same as the folic acid tablets especially for women who want to have children. In contrast, the price of combination preparations is higher, which could be justified by the additional vitamins and nutrients.

What types of vitamin B9 products are there?

Depending on personal taste, vitamin B9, or folate or folic acid, is available as a tablet, capsule or in liquid form in an ampoule. Basically, a distinction can be made between the following types:

type Description
tablet High-dose vitamin B9 is available for purchase as a tablet. It usually contains 1 milligram of vitamin B9.
Capsule The vitamin B9 capsule usually contains other vitamins or nutrients, such as vitamin B12, iodine or others.
Ampoule (liquid) In the ampoule, vitamin B9 is also available as a combination preparation. Mostly with vitamin B12. This type is rarely sold and is therefore more expensive than tablets or capsules.

No matter which type you choose. You should drink enough water when taking the tablet or capsule. Note: The ampoule must be injected intermuscularly or intravenously.

What are the alternatives to vitamin B9?

How can you increase your vitamin B9 levels without taking a tablet or capsule?

Vitamin B9

As an alternative to tablets or capsules, you can eat certain foods that are high in vitamin B9 or folate. (Image source: Andrijana Bozic / Unsplash).

There are certain foods that have a high folic acid content. We have summarised these for you in the following table:

Alternative Description
Green leafy vegetables Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuces or leafy greens contain high levels of folic acid. (11)
Whole-grain products Whole-grain products include, for example, bread made from wholemeal flour, whole-grain pasta, oatmeal or quinoa or millet. (11)
Other foods Other foods high in vitamin B9 include oranges, potatoes, liver and eggs. (11)

The German Nutrition Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. (DGE) recommends eating at least three portions of vegetables a day and steaming rather than boiling them. Women in the first trimester of pregnancy should refrain from eating liver.(11)

Image source: Songpracone/ 123rf.com

References (11)

1. Paul C. Folic acid in pregnancy. BJOG. 2016 Feb;123(3):392. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13602. PMID: 26810675.
Source

2. Goh YI, Koren G. Folic acid in pregnancy and fetal outcomes. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2008 Jan;28(1):3-13. doi: 10.1080/01443610701814195. PMID: 18259891.
Source

3. Guilland JC, Aimone-Gastin I. Vitamine B9 [Vitamin B9]. Rev Prat. 2013 Oct;63(8):1079, 1081-4. French. PMID: 24298825.
Source

4. Taylor MJ, Carney SM, Goodwin GM, Geddes JR. Folate for depressive disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Psychopharmacol. 2004 Jun;18(2):251-6. doi: 10.1177/0269881104042630. PMID: 15260915.
Source

5. Taylor MJ, Carney S, Geddes J, Goodwin G. Folate for depressive disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;2003(2):CD003390. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003390. PMID: 12804463; PMCID: PMC6991158.
Source

6. Yallew W, Bamlet WR, Oberg AL, Anderson KE, Olson JE, Sinha R, Petersen GM, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, Jansen RJ. Association between Alcohol Consumption, Folate Intake, and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: A Case-Control Study. Nutrients. 2017 May 1;9(5):448. doi: 10.3390/nu9050448. Erratum in: Nutrients. 2017 Jun 26;9(7):. Yellow W [corrected to Yallew W]. PMID: 28468303; PMCID: PMC5452178.
Source

7. Chittiboyina S, Chen Z, Chiorean EG, Kamendulis LM, Hocevar BA. The role of the folate pathway in pancreatic cancer risk. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 23;13(2):e0193298. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193298. PMID: 29474406; PMCID: PMC5825090.
Source

8. Socha DS, DeSouza SI, Flagg A, Sekeres M, Rogers HJ. Severe megaloblastic anemia: Vitamin deficiency and other causes. Cleve Clin J Med. 2020 Mar;87(3):153-164. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.87a.19072. PMID: 32127439.
Source

9. Sobczyńska-Malefora A, Harrington DJ. Laboratory assessment of folate (vitamin B9) status. J Clin Pathol. 2018 Nov;71(11):949-956. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205048. Epub 2018 Sep 18. PMID: 30228213.
Source

10. Kim YI. Folate: a magic bullet or a double edged sword for colorectal cancer prevention?. Gut. 2006;55(10):1387-1389. doi:10.1136/gut.2006.095463
Source

11. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. (DGE): Ausgewählte Fragen und Antworten zu Folat. Dezember 2018.
Source

Wissenschaftlicher Review
Paul C. Folic acid in pregnancy. BJOG. 2016 Feb;123(3):392. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13602. PMID: 26810675.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Goh YI, Koren G. Folic acid in pregnancy and fetal outcomes. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2008 Jan;28(1):3-13. doi: 10.1080/01443610701814195. PMID: 18259891.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Guilland JC, Aimone-Gastin I. Vitamine B9 [Vitamin B9]. Rev Prat. 2013 Oct;63(8):1079, 1081-4. French. PMID: 24298825.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Taylor MJ, Carney SM, Goodwin GM, Geddes JR. Folate for depressive disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Psychopharmacol. 2004 Jun;18(2):251-6. doi: 10.1177/0269881104042630. PMID: 15260915.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Taylor MJ, Carney S, Geddes J, Goodwin G. Folate for depressive disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;2003(2):CD003390. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003390. PMID: 12804463; PMCID: PMC6991158.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Yallew W, Bamlet WR, Oberg AL, Anderson KE, Olson JE, Sinha R, Petersen GM, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, Jansen RJ. Association between Alcohol Consumption, Folate Intake, and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: A Case-Control Study. Nutrients. 2017 May 1;9(5):448. doi: 10.3390/nu9050448. Erratum in: Nutrients. 2017 Jun 26;9(7):. Yellow W [corrected to Yallew W]. PMID: 28468303; PMCID: PMC5452178.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Chittiboyina S, Chen Z, Chiorean EG, Kamendulis LM, Hocevar BA. The role of the folate pathway in pancreatic cancer risk. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 23;13(2):e0193298. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193298. PMID: 29474406; PMCID: PMC5825090.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Review
Socha DS, DeSouza SI, Flagg A, Sekeres M, Rogers HJ. Severe megaloblastic anemia: Vitamin deficiency and other causes. Cleve Clin J Med. 2020 Mar;87(3):153-164. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.87a.19072. PMID: 32127439.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Review
Sobczyńska-Malefora A, Harrington DJ. Laboratory assessment of folate (vitamin B9) status. J Clin Pathol. 2018 Nov;71(11):949-956. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205048. Epub 2018 Sep 18. PMID: 30228213.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Review
Kim YI. Folate: a magic bullet or a double edged sword for colorectal cancer prevention?. Gut. 2006;55(10):1387-1389. doi:10.1136/gut.2006.095463
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Review
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. (DGE): Ausgewählte Fragen und Antworten zu Folat. Dezember 2018.
Go to source
Reviews