Folic acid (folate) is a member of the B-complex family. It is found in abundance in leafy green vegetables. Folic acid participates in a coenzyme reaction that synthesizes DNA needed for cell growth and new cell formation, and helps convert vitamin B12 to one of its coenzyme forms. Folic acid provides the following health benefits: Helps promote healthy DNA function Maintains already normal homocysteine levels, which is important for heart health Promotes healthier skin Helps maintain a healthy GI tract Is part of a healthy immune system Maintains healthy endothelial function Improves mild memory loss associated with aging Optimal levels of folate are necessary for healthy cell division and protein synthesis and are especially important for the maintenance of a healthy GI tract. The systemic need for folate increases in certain states in which increased cell multiplication is needed. Chronic use of medications such as aspirin in therapeutic doses and antacids can interfere with the metabolism of folate. Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic and inexpensive form of vitamin B12 that is converted in the body to its bioactive forms, methylcobalamin and cobamamide. Healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect. Women of childbearing age should consume 800 mcg of folate daily.
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