Folic acid (Vitamin B9)’s main role is in helping the body to produce and maintain new cells, which explains why it plays such a big role during pregnancy. Without folic acid, our bodies cannot produce DNA or red blood cells, causing disturbance in all our daily functions.

What is not as commonly known, though, is folic acid supports fertility in both men and women. A diet high in folic acid has been shown to improve male’s sperm quality by 30%. Low quality sperm in men decreases fertility and also puts your baby at a larger risk of birth defects or abnormalities. With regards to women, studies also proved that females taking a multivitamin or folic acid supplement had healthier and more regular ovulation cycles and eggs.

Even after successfully becoming pregnant, folic acid is possibly one of the most important nutrients during your first trimester of pregnancy. Folic acid is one of the building blocks for your baby due to its major role in DNA synthesis, and deficiencies in this particular B-vitamin have been linked to major birth defects like spina bifida. Folic acid supplementation can decrease incidence of such birth defects by up to 70% and is recommended for all women who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

Natural Sources

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Salmon
  • Dates
  • Beetroot
  • Lentils

Daily Requirements

Group Requirements (mcg/day)
Men 400
Women 400
Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women 600*Supplement recommended
Infants 80
Children 200

So, if you’ve tried different techniques to get pregnant, but haven’t focused on folic acid yet, it might be time to start looking at you and your partner’s diet. Folic acid will help you conceive and provide important benefits for your growing baby.