All about Folate

All about Folate - Source Biology

Folate is a water-soluble vitamin and is mainly found in leafy green vegetables. It is also found in some fruits, legumes, and nuts. Folate is an important vitamin for the body, and its deficiency can lead to several health problems. It is important for the synthesis of DNA and RNA, and for the metabolism of amino acids. It is also necessary for the formation of red blood cells.


Foliate was first isolated in 1943 from spinach leaves. The word foliate comes from the Latin word folium, which means leaf. The chemical structure of folate was determined in the early 1950s. Spinach is a good source of folate because it contains high levels of this vitamin. Folate is also found in leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts, and some fruits. It is also found in fortified foods such as cereals, bread, and pasta.

Health Benefits

i. Synthesis of DNA and RNA

The body needs folate to synthesize DNA and RNA. DNA is the genetic material that contains the instructions for the development and function of all living organisms. RNA is a molecule that helps in the synthesis of proteins. These two molecules are essential for the proper functioning of the cell.

ii. Metabolism of amino acids

Folate is also involved in the metabolism of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are required for the growth and repair of tissues. Folate helps in the conversion of amino acids into proteins. With adequate levels of folate, the body can synthesize proteins efficiently.

iii. Formation of red blood cells

Folate is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body. They are responsible for the transport of carbon dioxide and other waste products from the tissues to the lungs. Folate is required for the proper formation of these cells.

iv. Strengthening Tissues

Folate makes hair, skin, and nails strong. This is because these tissues are constantly growing and renewing themselves. Folate helps in the synthesis of collagen, which is a protein that provides structure to these tissues.

v. Pregnancy

Folate is essential for the development of the neural tube. The neural tube is a structure that forms the brain and spinal cord. It starts developing during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Folate helps in the proper development of this structure. It also prevents certain birth defects of the brain and spine.

Folate Supplements

While it is possible to obtain the necessary intake of folate from foods, many may choose additional support from supplements. This may be particularly true of women during childbearing age.

Folate supplements are used to treat and prevent folate deficiency. Preventing deficiency helps minimize the possibility of birth defects, can reduce the risk of heart disease, and may also be used to treat anemia. The recommended daily intake of folate for adults is 400 micrograms.


Previous post Next post