Folic acid (vitamin B9) is the most common deficiency among the B complex of vitamins. Because it is water soluble, the body cannot store it but instead excretes any excess from the body. That makes sufficient daily intake necessary.
In the body, folic acid plays several important roles. Along with vitamin B12, folic acid works to regulate the formation of red blood cells and to help iron function properly in the body. Folic acid works with vitamin C and B12 to metabolize protein. It is also important for its use in the formation of the nucleic acid of DNA and RNA.
Folic acid is vital for women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. Research has shown that folic acid plays an important role in the development of the fetus and the prevention of several different birth defects, including cleft lip and palate but most notably neural tube defects (NTDs). One study showed that folic acid reduced the occurrence of NTDs by 50 to 70 percent when taken from one year to one month before conception until four months into the pregnancy. Further study is necessary to support this finding.
Folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 help break down homocysteine, an amino acid. Elevated levels of homocysteine have been associated as a risk factor for strokes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, adults take one (1) tablet daily with meals, or as directed by a health care professional. Store in a cool, dry place and away from direct light.