- folic acid
Biochem.a water-soluble vitamin that is converted to a coenzyme essential to purine and thymine biosynthesis: deficiency causes a form of anemia.[1940-45]
* * *or folateOrganic compound essential to animal growth and health and needed by bacteria as a growth factor.Part of the vitamin B complex, folic acid is necessary for synthesis of nucleic acids and formation of the heme component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. To prevent neural tube defects in babies, it should ideally be taken by women starting at least a month before conception. Dietary folate sources include leafy and dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, cereals, beans, poultry, and egg yolks, but free folic acid is available only in supplements. Low intake leads to folic acid deficiency anemia.
* * *▪ vitaminwater-soluble vitamin of the B complex that is essential in animals and plants for the synthesis of nucleic acids. Folic acid was isolated from liver cells in 1943.The vitamin has a wide variety of sources in the human diet, including leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, cereals, beans, poultry, and egg yolks. A deficient intake of folic acid can impair the formation of red blood cells, resulting in folic acid deficiency anemia. Folic acid deficiency anemia may be a result of malabsorption disorders such as celiac disease and tropical sprue. Pregnant women with an insufficient intake of folic acid are more likely to give birth prematurely or to deliver babies with low birth weight or with neural tube defects. The sulfa drugs achieve their antimicrobial effects by interfering with the production of folic acid within bacteria.
* * *