Folic acid is an essential antioxidant crucial to such vital processes as DNA and RNA function, cellular health, and red blood cell production. It’s also particularly important for fertility. Health experts recommend it for all women of reproductive age, before and during pregnancy, as it may support conception, fetal development, pregnancy, and growth.1 For men, folic acid supplementation can potentially boost sperm health and quality.2
What Is Folic Acid?
Folic acid (the synthetic form of folate, or vitamin B9) is available as a supplement and added to foods. The synthetic form may be better absorbed (85%) than food sources (50%).3 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers to add folic acid to foods commonly eaten, as this helps to reduce neural tube defect risks. Folic acid-rich foods include:
- Whole grain products, like bread, cereals, pasta, and rice
- Dark green leafy vegetables, like turnip greens, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli
- Sunflower seeds
- Fresh fruits and juices
Folic Acid’s Role as an Antioxidant
Folic acid is an antioxidant, which is a type of nutrient that protects against cellular damage from harmful molecules known as free radicals. These molecules are needed for normal processes, such as ovulation.4 But too many free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts both female and male fertility. Taking antioxidant supplements, like folic acid, may reduce oxidative stress and any resulting inflammation. Regarding fertility, as an antioxidant, folic acid may improve egg quality, make cycles more regular, and support sperm health.
How Folic Acid Benefits Female Fertility
Folic acid may be particularly important for conception and early pregnancy. Studies show that consuming high levels reduces ovulation problems in healthy women trying to conceive. Once pregnant, it helps to develop the neural tube, preventing major birth defects for the developing brain and spinal cord, like spina bifida.5 Women who start taking folic acid supplements before conception and through early pregnancy may cut these birth defects’ development by up to 60 percent.6
Folic acid may reduce premature birth and low birth weight risks. And, supplementation may support menstruation, including stabilizing cycles and making them longer.7 Shorter cycles are thought to increase menstrual disorder risks, like endometriosis.
How Folic Acid Supports Male Fertility
Folic acid supplementation has been found to promote male fertility, particularly sperm health. It may reduce sperm abnormality risks, which can interfere with conception. It can also increase sperm count, due to its vital role in cell division and DNA development. Research suggests that taking folic acid may also help with erectile dysfunction.8
Shop Supplements With Folic Acid for Improved Fertility
Nutrabloom’s folic acid supplements, formulated by fertility experts, are designed to support fertility, including egg and sperm health and quality, conception, and pregnancy. The following Nutrabloom products provide optimal forms of folic acid:
- Couple’s Conception Kit
- Preconception Formula
- Couple’s Conception + PCOS Kit
- Organic Whole Food Prenatal Multivitamins
- Prenatal Gummies
- Hair, Skin, and Nail Gummies
- Adult Gummy Multivitamins
Men and women 14 years and up – 400 micrograms (mcg) per day. However, the CDC recommends all women of reproductive age take 400 mcg of folic acid each day. But breastfeeding women should take 500 mcg daily, while pregnant women should take 600 mcg daily.