Q:

How important is folic acid in your diet?

A:

Quick Answer

Folic acid is a type of B vitamin also referred to as folate, and it is essential for many bodily functions. Folic acid is important in aiding rapid tissue and cell growth, it helps prevent anemia, and when taken before and during pregnancy, it helps prevent certain birth defects.

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Full Answer

Folic acid helps reduce the risk of stroke and colorectal cancer. It increases fertility in both men and women and reduces the levels of homocysteine, which is a nonprotein amino acid. Homocysteine in high levels is associated with cardiovascular disease.

Folic acid deficiency may cause gray hair, peptic ulcer, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, poor growth, anemia, depression and fetal brain defects.

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