Folic Acid, also called vitamin B9, folate, folacin, or pteroylglutamic acid, is a naturally-occurring, water-soluble, B vitamin. It is important for the production and maintenance of new cells. Both adults and children need folic acid to prevent anemia.
Folic acid is found in two forms. In the synthetic form, it is found in multivitamins, fortified bread, and grain products like breakfast cereals and folic acid prescriptions. In the natural form called folate, it is found in green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach. Folic acid, in the natural form, is also found in fruits like orange. The human body absorbs the synthetic form more easily.
Conditions Vitamin B9 Helps
Vitamin B9 is needed for healthy nervous, digestive, and immune systems. It is essential for energy production, formation of red blood cells, DNA and RNA synthesis, and proper cell division. Folate is needed to replicate DNA and maintain normal levels of red blood cells in the bone marrow.
Having enough folic acid during early pregnancy can prevent birth defects involving the spine (neural tube defects) and brain. Pregnant women, who do not consume adequate folate, are likely to have premature babies with low birth weight.
Conditions for Vitamin B9 Supplements
Folic acid supplements (for prevention and treatment) are beneficial for conditions of neural tube defects, atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, cervical dysplasia, and depression. Folic acid is used to prevent anemia caused by poor diet, pregnancy, alcoholism, liver disease, stomach and intestinal problems, kidney dialysis, and other conditions.
Folic acid also controls homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine in the blood can lead to heart disease. Certain B vitamins, including folic acid, work with enzymes to lower homocysteine levels. Folic acid is the most important of all B vitamins and B vitamin supplements.
Folate deficiency can lead to diarrhea, anemia, loss of appetite, weight loss, sore tongue, and various other conditions.
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