folic acid

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folic acid:

see coenzymecoenzyme
, any one of a group of relatively small organic molecules required for the catalytic function of certain enzymes. A coenzyme may either be attached by covalent bonds to a particular enzyme or exist freely in solution, but in either case it participates intimately in
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; vitaminvitamin,
group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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Folic Acid


(vitamin Bc, pteroylglutamic acid), a vitamin of the B group. One folic-acid molecule is composed of a pteridine nucleus and para-aminobenzoic and glutamic-acid residues. The pale yellow hygroscopic crystals, which decompose at 250°C, are poorly soluble in water (0.001 percent). Folic acid is widely distributed in nature and is present in all animal, plant, and bacterial cells. It is synthesized by most microorganisms and lower and higher plants. It is not formed in the tissues of man, mammals, and birds and therefore should be obtained through food; however, it may be synthesized by microflora in the intestines.

Folic acid stimulates hematogenic functions in the organism. In animal and plant tissues it takes part—in reduced form, that is, in the form of tetrahydrofolic acid and its derivatives—in the synthesis of purine and pyrimidine bases, certain amino acids (se-rine, methionine, histidine), choline, and other compounds. The adult daily folic-acid requirement is 0.2–0.4 mg. The primary sources of the vitamin are leafy vegetables, liver, and yeast; strawberries are also a rich source.

Folic acid is effective in the treatment of certain forms of anemia and other diseases. It is prepared by the condensation of 2, 4, 5-triamino-6-hydroxy pirimidine, 1,1, 3-trichloroacetone, and para-aminobenzoyl glutamic acid. Aminopterin and methotrexate, which have a structure similar to that of folic acid, are used in the treatment of certain types of malignant tumors. These compounds are antimetabolites of folic acid and have a suppressive effect on cell growth and development.


Andreeva, N. A. Vitaminy gruppy folievoi kisloty. Moscow, 1963.
Berezovskii, V. M. Khimiia vitaminov, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1973.
Vitaminy. Edited by M. I. Smirnov. Moscow, 1974.
Blakley, R. L. The Biochemistry of Folic Acid and Related Pteridines. Amsterdam-London, 1969


folic acid

[′fō·lik ′as·əd]
C19H19N7O6 A yellow, crystalline vitamin of the B complex; it is slightly soluble in water, usually occurs in conjugates containing glutamic acid residues, and is found especially in plant leaves and vertebrate livers. Also known as pteroylglutamic acid (PGA).
References in periodicals archive ?
Women are advised to take folic acid before pregnancy, but many don't, and experts say that fortification Pregnant women, however, aren't the only people who stand to benefit from getting more folic acid in their diets - research also shows that it can protect against bowel cancer and heart disease.
Dr Ghadir Jaber, consultant paediatric surgeon at Latifa Hospital, said: "It is very important for the community to be educated about folic acid as it is the single most important factor to decrease the risk of NTDs which trigger physical, psychological and financial burden on the patient, family as well as the society as a whole.
There are many reports that folic acid should be taken by pregnant women and may prevent birth defects.
Increased consumption of folic acid in enriched flour has been helpful in reducing the incidence of neural tube defects in the general population, said Susan Mayne, Ph.
From a total of 3,056 offspring evaluated, 31 congenital cardiovascular malformations occurred in the group with folic acid supplementation, compared with 50 in the group without, for a 40% lower risk overall, although the main impact was seen among ventricular septal defects (Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol.
Their message is that if you are a woman and you are sexually active you should be taking folic acid every day, regardless of whether or not you're planning a pregnancy, as research has revealed around half of pregnancies here are unplanned.
Of 108,525 pregnancies with information about folic acid supplementation, 84.
A pregnant woman needs extra folic acid to help her to produce the additional blood cells she needs.
Often, the terms folate and folic acid are used interchangeably; however, there are some important distinctions between the terms.
4Preliminary research has shown a possible link between folic acid and Down syndrome.
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