Folate vs. Folic acid

Although there’s no significant difference between them, still there are minor differences to consider, which are interesting. Both are the different forms of Vitamin B9, which plays a vital role in your body. Vitamin B9 helps to make new healthy cells and optimize the fetus’s development and growth. No doubt’s vitamins are the fuel for your body; you have to ensure a constant supply of fuel, essential for the body to perform various functions actively.

Folate is used as a generic term, covering the different forms of vitamin B-9 such as; folic acid, tetrahydrofolate (THF), 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), dihydrofolate, and many more. It is responsible for maintaining various significant processes of your body.

The word folate is derived from the Latin word “folium”, meaning leaf and represents the leafy green vegetables.

Folic acid is the man-made version of vitamin B9 present in commonly eating products such as; fortified foods, supplements, bread, pasta, cereals, etc. It is not available naturally hence added in the manufacturer’s foods; even the US government strictly ordered the food manufacturers to add folic acid in foods.

What’s the difference between Folate and Folic acids?

Both terms folate and folic acid are used interchangeably. There’s a slight difference between them because both belong to the same vitamin and perform similar functions. We are sharing some differences with you.

1. Sources:

Folate exists naturally in a wide range of foods. However, folate is less stable in the dark, while cooked foods contain less folate than uncooked. Folates contains more than one glutamate molecules or polyglutamte in their structures.

Folic acid is known as pteroylglutamic acid, available in synthetic form. You can get folic acid from dietary supplements and fortified foods. Folic acid is most stable than folate and is not destroyed quickly. Folic acid contains only one glutamate molecule in their structures.

2.  Benefits:

Both forms are necessary for your body. Folate and folic acid are involved in the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and red blood cells, resulting in your cells’ growth.

3.  Side effects:

Folate has benign side effects because it is naturally available.

Folic acid may show side effects like appetite loss, bloating, and nausea.

4.  Types:

Folate is present in Folic acid, DHF, THF, 5, 10-ethylenetetrahydrofolate and 5-metyhltetrahydrofolate.

Folic acid is a type of folate, artificially available in the form of capsules or liquid.

5.  Risks:

Don’t worry; risks are always associated with everything. The high folate and folic acid level may be responsible for masking vitaminB12 deficiency. There are low chances that may interact with medications. You should consult with doctors before consuming folic acid supplements.

What is the function of Folic acid and Folate in your body?

Folate and folic acid play a crucial role in your body, from producing new cells to essential amino acids metabolisms. They are converted into active form 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, the only form that reaches the brain. Pregnant women are advised to consume 400 mcg of folic acids prior to conception and during pregnancy. Folate protects the baby from danger and promotes and regulates the fetus’s development and growth. Their deficiency causes miscarriage and neural tube defects in babies.

With the help of vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, Folic acid maintains the homocysteine level in your body. Homocysteine’s high level causes inflammation in the veins and leads to cardiovascular diseases.

You cannot underestimate the potential uses of vitamin B9 in your body, and make sure you consume a handsome amount of it.


Folate and folic acid are almost similar but show a distinction at some points. The main difference; folate is natural, and a folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9. Both perform similar functions in the body. Folic acid is used as a supplement to fulfill the needs of folate in your body. The scarcity of folate is the root of many diseases.


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