What is Vitamin B9 deficiency?

Folate deficiency is uncommon since it’s found in a wide variety of food. A folate deficiency usually coexists with other nutrient deficiencies because of its strong association with poor diet, alcoholism, and malabsorptive disorders. 

The main groups likely to develop a folate deficiency are people with alcohol dependence, childbearing women, and those suffering from a rare genetic disorder which impairs the body’s ability to convert folate to its active form.

Common vitamin B9 deficiency symptoms:

  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Open sores on tongue
  • Open sores in mouth
  • Changes in color of skin
  • Changes in color of hair
  • Changes in color of fingernails

What causes a vitamin B9 deficiency?

  • Alcohol dependency
  • Pregnancy
  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • MTHFR polymorphism (a rare genetic disorder)

Further reading: Harvard School of Public Health, National Institutes of Health