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fo·lic ac·id(fō'lik as'id),
See also: homocysteine.
Natural sources of folic acid include whole-grain breads and cereals, orange juice, lentils, beans, yeast, liver, and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach. Folic acid and cobalamin (vitamin B12) serve as components of coenzymes in 1-carbon reactions such as the methylation of homocysteine to methionine. Folic acid deficiency results in macrocytic anemia due to impairment of erythrocyte synthesis and is associated with elevation of the plasma homocysteine level, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease including coronary atherosclerosis, stroke, and thromboembolism. Deficiency of folic acid in pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly as well as an increased risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight. People with inherited deficiency of the enzyme 5,10 methylenetetrahydrofolic acid reductase have increased needs for dietary folic acid. The prevalence of the homozygous form of this deficiency may exceed 10% of the general population. Intake of therapeutic dosages of folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and cobalamin has been associated with a substantially lower risk of coronary artery disease and of neural tube defects. Mandatory fortification of enriched grain products after October 1998 was followed by a 31% reduction in spina bifida and a 16% reduction in meroanencephaly during the succeeding year. Nutritionists recommend at least 400 mg/day of folic acid for all people, and 1 mg/day or more for pregnant women and those with elevated plasma homocysteine levels. see also homocysteine.
folic acid/fo·lic ac·id/ (fo´lik) a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex, pteroylglutamic acid or related derivatives, which is involved in hematopoiesis and the synthesis of amino acids and DNA; its deficiency causes megaloblastic anemia. See tetrahydrofolic acid and folic acid antagonist.
folic acid(fō′lĭk, fŏl′ĭk)
folic acid (FA)
A general term for pteroylglutamic acids and their related conjugates. This family of B vitamins are required for normal haematopoiesis (production of red blood cells), and are present in leafy green vegetables, liver and yeast; it is used to treat megaloblastic anaemia and folate deficiency, prevent against cervical cancer and neural tube defects, and may ward against coronary artery disease as it counteracts the effects of homocysteine, an amino acid which, if elevated, increases smooth muscle proliferation, narrowing affected arteries.
folic acidFolate A family of water-soluble B vitamins not synthesized by mammals, which are required for normal hematopoiesis; it is used to treat megaloblastic anemia, and folate deficiency, prevent cervical and other CAs, neural tube defects; ↓ in alcoholism, malabsorption, anticonvulsants. See Megaloblastic anemia.
fo·lic ac·id(fō'lik as'id)
folic acidA vitamin of the B group originally derived from spinach leaves, hence the name (Latin folium , a leaf). The vitamin is necessary for the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. Deficiency causes MEGALOBLASTIC ANAEMIA. Folic acid is plentiful in leafy vegetables and in liver but is also produced by bacteria in the bowel and then absorbed into the circulation. Deficiency may occur after antibiotic treatment. Folic acid taken immediately before pregnancy and during the first few weeks can virtually eliminate the risk of embryonic neural tube defects and resulting SPINA BIFIDA or ANENCEPHALY in the baby. It will also reduce the risk of CLEFT PALATE. Normal dietary intake may not provide enough for this purpose. It has been reported, however, (January 2004) that women whose babies have neural tube defects have serum autoantibodies to folate receptors. The drug is on the WHO official list. The drug is available under the brand name Lexpec and, in conjunction with iron salts under the brand names Lexpec with iron, Folex-350, Meterfolic and Pregaday, Ferfolic SV, Ferrograd Folic, Galfer F.A., Meterfolic and Slow-Fe Folic.
vitamin Bca member of the B-COMPLEX group of vitamins that is synthesized by microorganisms in the mammalian gut, but is also required in the normal diet. Folic acid is involved in the synthesis of NUCLEIC ACIDS as well as red blood cells, and a deficiency causes reduced growth and anaemia.
folic acidB-complex vitamin, essential for normal erythrocyte development, used as dietary supplement to prevent anaemia in patients using antimetabolite drugs (e.g. methotrexate); dietary supplementation before and in very earliest stages of pregnancy reduces risk of fetal spina bifida
fo·lic ac·id(fō'lik as'id)
Patient discussion about folic acid
Q. Why should I take folic acid? I heard that it is recommended for women to take folic acid every day. Should I take it even if I am not pregnant?
Q. Why to take Folic Acid during pregnancy? I am in the beginning of my pregnancy and the Doctor told me to take Folic Acid every day, why?
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Q. Which foods contain folic acid? I was told by my Doctor to take folic acid. Which foods are rich with folic acid so I can add them to my diet?