Frailty and vitamin B9

Frailty and vitamin B9 are linked because the nutrient is not stored in the body. That means we should try to eat foods rich in folate at every meal and certainly each day.

What can we do to make sure that we do not become old before our time?

Prevent frailty syndrome.

Caring for the temple

As Christians we know that it behooves us to take care of our bodies since, at conversion, God took up residence in our mortal frames. If for no other reason that means caring for the temple should be an essential discipline of every Believer; I would argue on a par with Bible reading and prayer.

But of course this applies to every single person, for differing reasons; because it also means less pain and disability.

It means fewer visits to the doctor and little or even no chronic medication. Treating Brother Ass kindly has many benefits.

For we are the temple of the living God; I will live in them and move among them.
(2 Cor 6.16)

Let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement of body and spirit. (7.1)

Frailty syndrome

Three of these symptoms listed below means you have frailty syndrome; two suggests you are well on your way to losing your strength long before your time. But wait, there is much you can still do to prevent this progression of disability and pain.

  • Weak hands
  • No get up and go
  • Slow walking speed
  • Couch potato - low physical activity
  • Unintentional weight-loss

The four vitamins

Researchers have shown that those deficient in any one of these four-vitamins will become frail before their time.

Personally I would have included vitamin D; brittle bone disease is also a major cause of frailty syndrome.

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Folate, vitamin B9
  3. Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6
  4. Vitamin E


Folate is the name of vitamin B9. Because it is water-soluble and thus not stored in the body, we absolutely must consume foods with it every single day.

Folic acid is the synthetic form found in supplements. Researchers continually remind us that because of cofactors, many unknown, it is far more effective when obtained from our food.

Folate has extremely important functions in the body, many to do with the brain, spinal cord and fertility; and birth defects.

  • Prevention of spinal bifida (1/1000 births) and cleft palate (1/700)
  • Anencephaly (1/1000 pregnancies) - failure of neural tube closure
  • 40% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, many due to these defects
  • Anemia
  • Break down of toxic homocysteine, one of the major causes of heart disease and Alzheimer’s
  • Achievement in school
  • In dividing cells in DNA, sperm and ova; infertility
  • Preventing frailty-syndrome

There is a lot of heartache associated with a deficiency of folate. Frailty is just one of them.

Is your child not performing well in school? This is a good place to start.

Most people enjoying a rounded-diet get plenty of folate from their food. There is no reason to take it in supplements; but for those who enjoy mainly tea and toast, disability awaits.

Our aim should be to enjoy at least 7 coloured-foods every day, and preferably ten or more; it's not difficult. Just a slip of parsley on scrambled eggs would go a long way to preventing these nasty heartache diseases.

Folate foods (500 mcg/ day)

These are some of the foods with high folate levels.

  • Dark-green leafy vegetables, especially broccoli (170mcg/cup).
  • Bright red-peppers.
  • All legumes such as chickpeas and beans (hummus 12mcg/TBSP).
  • Egg (25mcg).
  • Citrus (1 orange ± 50mcg).
  • Avocado (160mcg).
  • Pawpaws and strawberries (60mcg/cup).

Deep confusion

There is one deep-confusion that is still not fully understood; even though we seemingly have enough from our diet, yet it is often deficient in the blood.

It probably has to do with absorption from the intestine. For example the intestinal microbiota synthesise folate; and lactic acid from fermented foods such as sourdough lower the pH and increase the effectiveness of folate-carriers and transporters[2].


Vitamin B9 is water-soluble meaning it cannot be stored in the body; we must daily enjoy foods that contain it.

It is really not difficult to have some fruit and eggs for breakfast, avocados for lunch and some legumes like green beans or peas for dinner most days.

Broccoli, onion greens and avocados are the kings and queens that reign when discussing frailty and vitamin B9.

And as you read through these frailty-vitamins you'll soon realise they are the super-foods that supply mega amounts of nutrients to our bodiues.

  • Must have daily from your food
  • Cannot overdose from your food
  • Definitely can OD from supplements

Dark-green leafy vegetables

Add onion shoots to your greens for more folate and flavour.
  • 1 cup of cooked spinach or kale contains 16 mcg
  • 1 cup of broccoli 170 mcg
  • Green onions, also known as scallions, contain about 80 mcg per cup. They are also particularly high in vitamins C and K.

Vitamin B9 in Eggs

  • 1 egg contains 25 mcg of folate
Eggs Hilton with eggs poaching.

Eggs Hilton is our update on the famous Italian Florentine dish, with added scallions, spinach and kale; peppers and garlic too.


Avocado and hummus are rich in vitamin B9.

Avocado stuffed with hummus and a squeeze of lemon-juice is a great favourite in our house. Together they contribute about a quarter of your needs to prevent frailty and vitamin B9.

To make our authentic hummus recipe, once you have the ingredients in place, takes only five-minutes. I make two large tubs every week using frozen chickpeas.

  • 80mcg in half an avo
  • Hummus: 15mcg / TBSP


  • 50mcg /100g


  • 50-70 mcg/cup

4 granadillas (80g - 11mcg)
1/2 cup kale and spinach (8mcg)
1 egg (25mcg)
1 toast (25mcg)
1/2 cup Raw greens (30mcg)
50g hummus (59mcg)
Tomato (10mcg)
1/2 Avocado (80mcg)
1 slice bread (25mcg)
1 cup potato (48mcg)
1/2 cup kale (8 mcg)
1 cup zucchini squash (36mcg)
Total = 379mcg

New potatoes are particularly rich in folate.

Don't forget the new potatoes; they are particularly good for preventing frailty with vitamin B9; and are less likely to cause a surge in blood sugar.


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Frailty and vitamin B9

Frailty and vitamin B9, also known as folate is a condition that simply does not exist in those enjoying a wide variety of coloured foods every day.

However the condition of the microbes in the gut is essential for transportation and absorption. Probiotics such as kefir thus are recommended[3].

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa