Folic Acid (Folate)

Folic acid is one of the water-soluble vitamins, and specifically a form of vitamin B9. It is significant to the metabolism and cell growth, as well as healthy cell production. Some people confuse folic acid with folate. Folate is a form of vitamin B9 found in foods while folic acid is man-made; yet, the bear the same effects.

Supplements of folic acid are needed during pregnancy, or women that want to get pregnant, because folic acid helps significantly reduce the risk of birth defects, like Spina Bifida, considering the baby’s spine and brain. Besides, folic acid may also reduce the risk of early labor and preeclampsia, which is why it is recommended for pregnant women to take folic acid supplements. Other than that, folic acid is believed to help treat neurological disorders, and some deficiencies, most commonly found in people with liver/kidney disease that could lead to anemia, among others. Finally, folic acid is also used to counteract methotrexate toxicity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Folate is found in fruits and leafy green vegetables, as well enriched and fortified products, like cereal and bread, and any unbalanced diet that does not provide sufficient amounts of folate to the body, should be enriched.