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What Is Folates Measured In DFE?

Folate is also known as vitamin B9 and folacin. Folate is naturally present in many foods, and folic acid, which is the synthesized form of folate, is added to some foods.

Here you can read about what folate is using the measurement DFE, dietary folate equivalents.

Folate that is naturally present in food is not harmful. But you should not consume folate in supplements or fortified foods in amounts above the upper limit.

Folate Is A Generic Term

Folate is a generic term referring to both natural folates in food and folic acid, the synthetic form used in supplements and fortified food. (source 🗗)

DFE: Dietary Folate Equivalents

The mcg DFE is the unit of measure for folate on the new Nutrition Facts or Supplement Facts label. The measure of mcg DFE is used because your body absorbs more folic acid from fortified foods and dietary supplements than folate found naturally in foods. (source 🗗)

Compared to folate found naturally in foods, you need less folic acid to get the recommended amounts. For example, 240 mcg of folic acid and 400 mcg of folate are both equal to 400 mcg DFE. (source 🗗)

Folates Is Foods

Folate is naturally present in many foods, including vegetables, fruits, beef liver, nuts, and beans, and peas.

Foods fortified with folic acid can be enriched bread, flour, pasta, rice, and cornmeal. (source 🗗)

Folates During Pregnancy

Folate is important for lowering the risk of serious problems that occur during pregnancy that can affect the baby’s brain and spine. (source 🗗)

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Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator


I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family. Nutrition is my passion. I have spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies. Nutrition is the foundation you build a healthy and fulfilling life upon!