Folic acid-A water-soluble vitamin of the B complex. Folic acid is composed of pteroic acid bonded to L-glutamic acid (pteroylglutamic acid) or other derivatives. Folic acid is required for haematopoiesis (blood cell production). Upon absorption, folic acid is reduced to dihydrofolic acid and then to tetrahydrofolic acid. Derivatives act as coenzyme carriers in various metabolic reactions.
Sources of folic acid
Good sources of folic acid are liver, green vegetables, and yeast.
RDA of folic acid
The recommended intake of folic acid is 100 micrograms/day. Since folic acid has role in nucleic acid synthesis, more is needed during periods of increased tissue growth, such as pregnancy (800 micrograms), and breast feeding (500 micrograms).
Deficiency of folic acid
Insufficient amounts of folic acid are characterized by growth retardation and megaloblastic anaemia. Folic acid metabolism has a close relation with vitamin B12.