Folic acid facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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In the USA many grain products are fortified with folic acid.

Folate, forms of which are known as folic acid and vitamin B9, is one of the B vitamins. The recommended daily intake of folate in the US is 400 micrograms from foods or dietary supplements. Folic acid is the form of folate used to treat anemia caused by folic acid deficiency. More than 50 countries use fortification of certain foods with folic acid as a measure to decrease the rate of NTDs in the population. Long term supplementation is also associated with small reductions in the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. It may be taken by mouth or by injection.

Folic acid is essential for the body to make DNA, RNA, and metabolise amino acids which are required for cell division. As humans cannot make folic acid, it is required from the diet, making it an essential vitamin.

Not consuming enough folate can lead to folate deficiency. This may result in a type of anemia in which low numbers of large red blood cells occur. Symptoms may include feeling tired, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, open sores on the tongue and changes in the color of the skin or hair.

Folates occur naturally in many foods especially dark green leafy vegetables and liver.

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Folic acid Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.