Folic acid is a member of the family of B vitamins and it is also known as folate. Folic acid acts as a coenzyme in the normal replication of DNA intervenes in the synthesis of aminoacids and nucleoproteins, and it promotes the formation of normal erythroctes (red blood cells).
Folic acid is an important vitamin during pregnancy. Clinical studies have demonstrated that folic acid promotes the proper development of the embryo and foetus, and can help to prevent neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) if it is taken before conception and during the first trimester of the pregnancy. Folic acid promotes the deterioration of a surplus of homocysteine in the body, thus reducing the risk of arterial accumulation. Homocysteine is an amino acid found in the blood. It can accumulate on the walls of the arteries, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or a stroke.
Groff, J., Gropper, S. (2000). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 3e édition. Wadsworth/ Thomson Learning.
IOM 1998: Institute of Medicine. Panel sur l'acide folique, d'autres vitamines B et la choline et sous-comité sur les niveaux de référence supérieurs des nutriments, et le comité permanent sur l'évaluation scientifique des ingestions alimentaires de référence, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Ingestions alimentaires de référence pour la thiamine, la riboflavine, la niacine, la vitamine B6, l'acide folique, la vitamine B12, l'acide pantothénique, la biotine et la choline. National Academy Press.
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