What Is Folic Acid?


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Katie Harry answered
You must have heard a lot about vitamin B6. Well, folic acid is basically a form of it. It is also known as folacin and vitamin M. A good natural source of folic acid is leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce. Dried beans, peas and sunflower seeds are also a good source of folic acid. It is also found abundantly in liver. You would also find it in cereals fortified with this vitamin.
Folic acid is very important for growth and development of cells and tissues especially in stages of the lifecycle where growth is occuring rapidly such as infancy and pregnancy. It is needed for this purpose because it helps in the synthesis of thymine and purine bases that make up the DNA. This is the reason why anemia may occur as the absence of this acid limits the number of red blood cells.
Morever, a diet rich in folic acid also reduces the chance of the fetus to malform in pregnant women and also helps reduce chromosomal  defects in sperm.
Folic acid was first identified by Lucy Will in 1931 and it was first synthesized by Yellapragada Subbarao in 1946. The recommended daily allowance for folic acid is 400 micrograms for men and women above 19. For pregnant women it is 600 micrigram and lactating women should take 500 micrograms.

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