How Folate Works

Folate, also sometimes known as folic acid, helps form the genetic material DNA and RNA -- the blueprints for our bodies. As such, folate is vital to growth, which is why it's especially important for pregnant women. In this article you'll see how folate helps the body build cells and hear about some of the devastating diseases that can happen to a fetus without enough folate. Here's a quick preview:
  • What Is Folate?

    Folacin, folic acid, and folate all refer to the same B vitamin, which occurs in foods in all three forms. The term folate covers all three, and the term folate activity describes the actual biological potency, or vitamin value, of a food. Folic acid is the simplest form of the vitamin. Vegetables are high in folate, and this page will tell you some other sources, too.

  • Benefits of Folate

    Folate has many benefits specific to women. In addition to helping create healthy fetuses, it also seems to prevent cervical cancer and can reduce osteoporosis. But it has benefits for both genders as well. Folate, like many vitamins and nutrients, helps combat heart disease. It also releases serotonin, which makes it act as a mild antidepressant. Learn about all of folate's uses on this page.

  • Folate Deficiency

    A lack of folate in unhealthy for anyone, but in fetuses it can cause very serious brain disorders. In extremely rare cases, babies have been born without a brain. That's why pregnant women and even women who are planning to conceive should consider a folate supplement. On this page you'll learn the symptoms of a folate deficiency.

  • Folate Supplements

    Not everyone agrees on how much folate is the right amount to take. Although it seems like too much can never be enough for such a vital nutrient, there is a risk of folate masking a B12 deficiency, which can be just as problematic as a folate deficiency. On this page you'll learn the arguments on all sides of the folate debate.
Folate is just one of the many vitamins that are part of a healthy diet. Check out the following links to learn more:
  • Vitamin B12, which helps folate make cells, works differently than any other vitamin. Learn the details at How Vitamin B12 Works.
  • Vitamin A plays an essential role in eyesight. Learn how it helps us to see, even in the dark, at How Vitamin A Works.
  • Vitamin B6 is effective against more than 100 ailments. How Vitamin B6 Works will explain the details and tell you how to get enough in your diet.
  • Vitamin K plays a vital role in blood clotting. Learn more at How Vitamin K Works.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which keeps the blood clean. Separate truth from fiction at How Vitamin E Works.

  • To learn about the many vitamins in our diet, how much you should be eating, and where to find them, go to our general Vitamins page.
  • If you were looking for the best prices on B vitamin supplements, click here.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.