Folic acid is a B vitamin. It helps the body make healthy new cells. Everyone needs folic acid. For women who may get pregnant, it is really important. Getting enough folic acid before and during pregnancy can prevent major birth defects of her baby's brain or spine.
Foods with folic acid in them include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Dried beans, peas, and nuts
- Enriched breads, cereals and other grain products
If you don't get enough folic acid from the foods you eat, you can also take it as a dietary supplement.
NIH: National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
- Folic Acid Supplements: Can They Slow Cognitive Decline? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Cerebral folate transport deficiency: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- Hereditary folate malabsorption: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Folic Acid Deficiency (National Institutes of Health)