About Folic Acid !

Folic acid (pteroylglutamic acid) vitamin B9:

Sources:Folic acid is found abundantly in nearly all natural foods which include fresh or fresh frozen , uncooked vegetables and fruits. Good sources are green leafy vegetable and yeast. Grain also contains this vitamin . Sufficient amounts may also be obtained through bacterial synthesis in the intestine or the rumen.

Chemistry: Folacin or folic acid or pteroylglutamic acid. (PGA) is composed of one molecule each of P-aminobenzic acid , glutamic acid and the pigment pteridine. It is a yellow crystalline substance and is highly soluble in water. It is soluble in dilute alcohol.

Biochemical functions: Folic acid help in the transfer and metabolism of one carbon compound ,  it is firstly reduced to  H4 folate (5678-tetra hydrofotate) by the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase in the presence of NADPH. H4 folate is active form of folic acid which may receive groups ,such as the formyl , methylene , methyl andform iminogroups on its N5 and N10 from different substrates during their catabolism. H4 folate thenacts as a carrier and donor of these C1 groups to other substrates as the coenzyme for many one carbon trnsferases.

Role as a coenzyme:  various coenzyme formsof folic acid play important role in a variety of important metabolic reactions.

  1. Serine glycine interconversion
  2. Purine and pyrimidine synthesis
  3. Hestidine synthesis etc.


  • Deficiency of folic acid is difficult to produce in most of the animals unless intestinal bacterial growth is intibeted by feeding certain types of drugs such as sulfonamide drug or antibiotics. Folic acid antagonists like aminopertin and amethopterin have also got a tendency to produce its deficiency.
  • In man its deficiency causes macrocytic anemia which resembles pernicious anemia except that the nervous involvement of the latter condition is absent.
  • Folic acid deficiency occurs most commonly among pregnant women because of their increased need for this nutrient.
  • Its deficiency symptoms have also been observed in chronic alcoholics and drugs addicts , such people generally belong to the affluent society and do not believe in the consumption of green fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Its deficiency is also responsible for diarrhoea ,gastromtestinal lesion and other related symptoms.
  • Its deficiency is also causes megaloblastic anaemia.
  • Folic acid is also effective in treating pernicious anaemia ,although it is with out effect on the nervous symptoms , which respond to vitamin B12.

Daily requirements:Folic acid is the important component of the body and it plays an important role in the functions of the body.If it is not in required amount ,man will face a lot of disorders that can be cured by taking the supplements of folic acid in an adequate amount.

Exact requirements difficult is ascertain due to two reasons.

  • Available in nature ubiquitons.
  • Most of human need supplied bacterial synthesis in intestine.

Recommended dietry daily allowance

Adult 400 to 500 ug daily

Infant 50 ug

Children 100 to 30 ug

Rapid Tone

Requirement increase in pregnancy and lactation

Pregnant women 800 ug

Lactating women 600 ug

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