WHAT IS FOLATE?
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that is naturally present in many foods and available as a dietary supplement. Folic acid is the form most often used in supplements and to fortify foods. Folate is needed in the human body for production of red blood cells, required to maintain the integrity of DNA, and is responsible for the development of the nervous system.
Folate deficiencies usually coexist with other nutrient deficiencies because of its strong association with poor diet, alcoholism, and malabsorptive disorders. A lack of folate in the human body can be caused by certain diseases, taking certain medications, or by not getting enough folate in your diet which can lead to decreased red blood cells or anemia. Women with folate deficiencies are at increased risk of giving birth to infants with birth defects of the brain and/or spinal cord.