Folic acid is form of a water-soluble B vitamin. folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin. Since 1998, folic acid has been added to cold cereals, flour, breads, pasta, bakery items, cookies, and crackers, as required by federal law. Foods that are naturally high in folate include leafy vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce), okra, asparagus, fruits (such as bananas, melons, and lemons) beans, yeast, mushrooms, meat (such as beef liver and kidney), orange juice, and tomato juice.
Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folate (folate deficiency) and high blood levels of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia).
Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant take folic acid to prevent miscarriage and "neural tube defects." These are serious birth defects such as spina bifida, when the fetal spine and back do not close in the womb. Folic acid is also used for many other conditions including depression, stroke,decline in memory and thinking skills in older people that is more than what is normal for their age, and many others.Folate is found in a number of plant and animal foods, including spinach, kale, broccoli,avocado, citrus fruits, eggs, and beef liver.
Your body uses folate for a wide array of critical functions:
● the synthesis, repair, and methylation — the addition of a methyl group — of DNA cellular division
● the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, an amino acid that’s used for protein synthesis or converted into S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a compound that acts as a primary methyl donor in your body and is necessary for numerous cellular reactions
● the maturation of red blood cells
Folate is involved in a number of vital metabolic processes, and deficiency leads to an array of negative health outcomes, including megaloblastic anemia, increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers, and birth defects in infants whose mothers were deficient in folate.