Folic acid definition is “a synthetic version of folate”, which is a water-soluble member of the B-complex vitamin family. Called vitamin B-9, folic acid is vital to human health. 1 Folic acid was discovered after 1931 and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines which are the most important medications needed in a basic health system. It is extremely economical to produce as a synthetic supplement and, because it’s water soluble, folic acid is constantly discharged by the body’s waste system. 1
Folic acid benefits are absolutely essential to making the body function properly at the cellular level. Folic acid is necessary for the production of red blood cells and for the synthesis of DNA which controls heredity and is used to guide cells in daily activities like replacing dead cells, multiplying and dividing. As a prominent B vitamin, folic acid benefits include being crucial for brain function and plays an important part in mental and emotional health. Folic acid benefits are especially important when cells and tissues are rapidly developing such as in infancy, adolescence and pregnancy. 1,2
Folic acid works with vitamins B-6 and B-12 to help iron work properly in the body and to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Humans cannot make folic acid naturally and therefore must be consumed in diet with folic acid foods. The word “folate” refers to foliage and, not surprisingly, some of the best folic acid foods come from green and leafy foods like spinach, peas, beans, avocados, peanuts, romaine lettuce and wheat germ. Beef liver is another high source of folic acid food. 2,3 Folic acid health benefits include the treatment and prevention of:
There really are no known side effects to folic acid or vitamin B-9. Because folic acid is water-soluble, and excess vitamin B-9 is naturally flushed by the digestive and waste system. 1 If taking folic acid as a supplement, follow the recommended dosage in the information from the supplier.