Folic acid is a manmade (synthetic) form of folate; one of the vitamins of vitamin B. Folate assists in DNA production. Folic acid is used in fortified foods and vitamin supplements. This is most important in pregnancy. It plays an important role in healthy red blood cells formation and helps to prevent congenital disabilities. The body utilizes vitamin B to make new cells. Food manufacturers include it in various products as it does not occur naturally.

Importance of Folic Acid

Folate is essential for various functions of the body. Folate helps form healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all body parts. The deficiency of folate can cause anemia, which can cause pale skin, fatigue, and weakness. The lack of folate leads to anemia, which is called folate deficiency anemia. It is also crucial for DNA repair and synthesis and cell division. During pregnancy, getting enough folate is very important. Lack of folate can lead to neural tube defects during pregnancy, like anencephaly and spina bifida. Because of folic acid’s importance to health, the FDA demands manufacturers to use folic acid in pasta, cereals, rice, enriched bread, and other cereal products in the US. 

Folic Acid Benefits 

Here are some benefits of folic acid supplementation:

Rheumatoid Arthritis

For rheumatoid arthritis, doctors use it to help prescribe methotrexate. Methotrexate is medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, but it may lack folate in the body and causes gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies show that intake of folic acid can lower side effects by 79%.


Research shows that folic acid consumption before and during pregnancy may reduce the autism risk in children. Although the study results are unclear yet and more research is required to determine the folic acid role.

Neural Tube Irregularities

Folic acid supplements consumption before conceiving and during pregnancy will help prevent neural tube defects in the baby. It can reduce heart irregularities, cleft palate, or premature birth risk. It is recommended that pregnant women or women planning to conceive take folic acid 400 mcg daily from their regular diet, supplements, or fortified foods. Those with low folate levels experience depression more likely than others. Although, folic acid supplements consumption making depression medications results more effective.

Folic Acid Dosage

Most people in the US get plenty of folate from their diet, and lack of folate is rare. The government recommends pregnant women and those who will become pregnant consume folic acid daily. As folic acid is essential for the early development of the fetus, the spinal cord is the first part to be formed in the body, and lack of folate can cause irregularities in the spinal cord. If you are pregnant or planning to conceive, consuming 400 to 800 mcg daily folic acid is recommended, and breastfeeding women should take about 500 mcg daily.


Folate is also crucial for DNA repair and synthesis, and cell division. During pregnancy, getting enough folate is very important. Folate deficiency during pregnancy can lead to neural tube irregularities.