Folic Acid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Folic acid or folate is a B vitamin required for purine and pyrimidine synthesis, amino acid interconversions, methylation reactions, and the generation and use of formate. Consequences of folate deficiency include megaloblastic anemia, hyperhomocysteinemia (a risk factor for vascular disease), cancer initiation, neurological and cognitive impairment, neural tube defects, and other negative birth outcomes. Folic acid fortification of cereal and grain food products has reduced the incidence of NTD-affected pregnancies. Folic acid fortification may also have influenced cancer rates, vascular disease, and the severity of manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency, though such effects are controversial and require further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Nutrition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780123848857
ISBN (Print)9780123750839
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • Cancer
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
  • Depression
  • Folate
  • Folic acid
  • Fortification
  • Homocysteine
  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase
  • Neural tube defects (NTDs)
  • Ribonucleic acid (RNA)
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)
  • Vitamin B

Cite this

Miller, J. W. (2012). Folic Acid. In Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition (Vol. 2-4, pp. 262-269). Elsevier Inc..