Folic acid (or folate) is a key vitamin in cellular function and repair. Deficiency leads to impaired cell division and to alterations in protein synthesis - the effects are most pronounced in rapidly growing tissues. Folate is essential for the synthesis and repair of DNA.Folic acid is essential for the formation and maturation of both red and white blood cells and deficiency is often expressed as anemia, especially among the elderly, the poor, alcoholics, and pregnant women. Folic acid-deficiency anemia is associated with fatigue, weakness, apathy, headaches, irregular heartbeat, sore tongue, and diarrhea, lack of appetite, weight loss, irritability and forgetfulness.
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The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011