|Folinic Acid||Follicle-Stimulating Hormone||Folpet||Fomecins||Fomepizole|
|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||441.40 g mol−1|
|Appearance||yellow-orange crystalline powder|
|Melting point||250 °C (523 K) (decomposition) |
|Solubility in water||1.6 mg/L (25 °C)|
|Acidity (pKa)||1st: 4.65, 2nd: 6.75, 3rd: 9.00|
(what is: / ?)|
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
Folic acid (also known as vitamin M, vitamin B9, vitamin Bc (or folacin), pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, and pteroyl-L-glutamate)[dubious ] is a form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Folate is a naturally occurring form of the vitamin, found in food, while folic acid is synthetically produced, and used in fortified foods and supplements. Folic acid is itself not biologically active, but its biological importance is due to tetrahydrofolate and other derivatives after its conversion to dihydrofolic acid in the liver.
Vitamin B9 (folic acid and folate) is essential for numerous bodily functions. Humans cannot synthesize folate de novo; therefore, folate has to be supplied through the diet to meet their daily requirements. The human body needs folate to synthesize DNA, repair DNA, and methylate DNA as well as to act as a cofactor in certain biological reactions. It is especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as in infancy and pregnancy. Children and adults both require folic acid to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia.
Folate and folic acid derive their names from the Latin word folium, which means "leaf". Folate occurs naturally in many foods, and among plants are especially plentiful in dark green leafy vegetables.
A lack of dietary folates can lead to folate deficiency. A complete lack of dietary folate takes months before deficiency develops as normal individuals have about 500–20,000 µg of folate in body stores. This deficiency can result in many health problems, the most notable one being neural tube defects in developing embryos. Common symptoms of folate deficiency include diarrhea, macrocytic anemia with weakness or shortness of breath, nerve damage with weakness and limb numbness (peripheral neuropathy), pregnancy complications, mental confusion, forgetfulness or other cognitive declines, mental depression, sore or swollen tongue, peptic or mouth ulcers, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, and behavioral disorders. Low levels of folate can also lead to homocysteine accumulation. DNA synthesis and repair are impaired and this could lead to cancer development.