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Folic Acid

Also Known As : Folacin, Folate, Pteroylglutamic acid, Vitamin B9



Folic acid is a type of B vitamin that is also called synthetic form of folate. It’s not found naturally in food but often added to processed foods and used in multivitamin-mineral supplements. However, folic acid must be converted into active vitamin B9, known as 5-MTHF, before it is consumed by the body. Synthetic folic acid is not a required nutrient, the average adult needs 400 mcg of dietary folate equivalents per day, while pregnant women require 600 mcg per day.

Health benefits

  • • It helps the body to make new red blood cells and transport oxygen to different parts of the body. Thereby reducing symptoms of anemia like fatigue, weakness, and a pale complexion. (1) 
  • Folate is also important for the synthesis and repair of DNA and other genetic material, and it is necessary for cell division. (1) 
  • Some research suggests that taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy could reduce the chances of autism. (1) 
  • A sufficient amount of folic acid is very important to prevent the onset of neural tube defects in the newborns. (1) 
  • High intakes of folic acid may protect against certain cancers, including those of the breast, gut, lung, and pancreas. (2) 
  • It helps to lower homocysteine levels because it’s required in the process of converting homocysteine into another molecule called methionine. (2) 


  • Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy increases the risk of congenital irregularities. There are no serious side effects associated with taking too much folic acid. In very rare cases, people may report stomach upset conditions. (1) 
  • Since the conversion of folic acid to its active form is a slow process, free folic acid can build up within the bloodstream. This has been linked to poor immunity and reduced brain function. (2)

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