Folic acid is used for brain function and the production of DNA and RNA, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. Folic acid also aids in metabolism, helping the body change carbohydrates into glucose. Folic acid is especially important during pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects.
Folic acid is also referred to as folate acid or vitamin B9, states University of Maryland Medical Center. Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 and can be found in foods such as cereal, or taken as a supplement. Folate occurs naturally in many foods, however the body does not process folate as well as the synthetic form, according to Womenshealth.gov.