What is folic acid, and why is it so important? These are very good questions and I intend to answer them for you. Folic acid is vitamin B9 or folic acid or folate; these are the water-soluble forms of vitamin B9. Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid is essential for the many bodily functions. The human body needs folic acid to synthesize and repair DNA and it is especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth. What exactly does that mean? During pregnancy and infancy when the child is growing quickly folic acid is needed to ensure the proper growth of the child. Not only is it needed for cell division and growth, but also adults and children alike need it to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia.
Where do the names folic and folate come from? They are derived from the Latin word meaning “leaf.” This is because the main source of folic acid is leafy vegetables. But in recent times most diets containing cereals and bread are fortified with folic acid. When we lack folate it is said that we have a folate deficiency, this is uncommon in most Western diets. Continue Reading →