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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.
vitamin Msee FOLIC ACID.
n See folate.