Folic acid, one of the B vitamins that is a key factor in the synthesis (the making) of nucleic acid (DNA and RNA). A deficiency of folic acid after birth causes a kind of anemia, namely, megaloblastic anemia in which there is a paucity of red blood cells and those that are made are unusually large and immature (so-called blast cells). Lack of adequate folic acid during pregnancy was first found to increase the risk for the baby to have a birth defect involving the spinal cord and brain — a neural tube defect such as spina bifida (meningomyelocele) or anencephaly. The association was then investigated between the mother's use of drugs that act as folic acid antagonists in the first trimester of pregnancy and the birth of a child with a congenital malformation (birth defect). It was found that folic acid antagonists increased the risk not only of neural tube defects but also of congenital heart malformations, cleft lip and palate , and urinary tract defects. Folic acid. it now is clear, reduces the risks for a remarkably broad gamut of birth defects. In order for folic acid to be effective in preventing these birth defects, the vitamin must be consumed every day beginning before conception and continuing through the first three months of pregnancy. Educating women (and their doctors) about the importance of folic acid is going to require a major effort. According to one study, only 10% of women know that folic acid should be taken before pregnancy.
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fo·late 'fō-.lāt n FOLIC ACID <the uptake of \folate by the mutant (Biol. Abstracts)> also a salt or ester of folic acid

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fo·late (foґlāt) 1. the anionic form of folic acid. 2. more generally, any of the pteroylglutamate derivatives having various levels of reduction of the bicyclic pteridine portion, substitutions of this structure, and numbers of glutamate residues.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Folate — Vitamine B9 Vitamine B9 Structure chimique de la vitamine B9 Général Synonymes acide folique vitamine M fo …   Wikipédia en Français

  • folate — folic acid ► NOUN ▪ a vitamin of the B complex found especially in leafy green vegetables, liver, and kidney. DERIVATIVES folate noun. ORIGIN from Latin folium leaf …   English terms dictionary

  • folate — noun Date: 1951 folic acid …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • folate — (= tetrahydrofolate) Molecule that acts as a carrier of one carbon units in intermediary metabolism. It contains residues of p aminobenzoate, glutamate, and a substituted pteridine. The latter cannot be synthesized by mammals, which must obtain… …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • folate — fo·late (fōʹlāt ) n. 1. A salt or ester of folic acid. 2. See folic acid.   [folic acid + ate2.] * * * …   Universalium

  • folate — noun A salt or ester of folic acid, especially one present in the vitamin B complex …   Wiktionary

  • folate — [ fəʊleɪt] noun Biochemistry a salt or ester of folic acid …   English new terms dictionary

  • folate — fo·late …   English syllables

  • folate — /ˈfoʊleɪt/ (say fohlayt) noun a vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables in the form of folic acid, which is essential for the formation of red blood cells. {fol(ic acid) + ate2} …   Australian-English dictionary

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