What is the difference between folic acid and folate?Last Updated: August 07, 2019
Folate and Folic Acid are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Folate is the naturally-occurring form of the vitamin, which can only be found in food. Spinach, lentils, and garbanzo beans are all good sources of dietary folate. Folic Acid is the man-made form of vitamin B9 that is used in most supplements and in fortified foods.
The new methylated form of vitamin B9 (L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate) is also man-made as are all forms of Methylated Folate and is categorized as Folic Acid. Folic Acid is significantly better absorbed by the body than food-sourced folate. The new FDA labeling requirements will require vitamin B9 to be categorized as Folate on all food and supplement labels regardless of its source.