What is folate? Is it important?

What is your relationship with food and eating?

First discovered in the 1940s, folate (also known as folic acid or folacin) is one of 8 vitamins of the B group . Once referred to as vitamin B9, it is crucial for several steps in the synthesis of the genetic material DNA. When it is in short supply, the nuclei of cells cannot make new DNA and thus cells cannot divide and multiply properly. Growth then stops or is distorted. Rapidly-dividing cells such as those that make up the neural tube need folate in plentiful supply.


Catherine Saxelby

Catherine Saxelby is an Accredited Practising Dietitian, best-selling author and freelance writer who helps busy women eat right, lose weight and boost their energy. On the Foodwatch blog, I cover the big issues in healthy eating from coconut to gluten-free and review new products to make shopping easier and better for you. I try out those trendy diets eg Raw, No Sugar, Paleo and find their best redeeming quality and make a guess at whether they’ll stay or not.

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