Folic acid is a type of B-vitamin. It is water-soluble and is the synthetic version of folate, which occurs naturally in foods. You can find folate in leafy greens, fruits, dried beans, peas, nuts, enriched breads, cereals, tomato juice and meat like liver and kidneys. Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells. It also helps to prevent changes to your DNA that may lead to cancer.
>> Read more: The Skinny on Folic Acid and Pregnancy
Everyone needs folic acid, but especially women who are pregnant. Making sure that you get enough folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent your baby from forming a major birth defect in their brain or spine. These birth defects can range from spina bifida to anencephaly. It can even help prevent miscarriages. It is used by doctors to treat patients with a variety of problems like:
- folate deficiency
- kidney disease
- vision loss