Why is folate (folic acid) is essential to the embryo or fetus?

Folic acid embryo. Folic acid is important to take prior to conception and during early pregnancy. It will reduce the risk neural tube defects. The neural tube involves the brain and spinal cord.
Folic acid. Folic acid is a co-factor needed for cellular division. Lack of Folic Acid impairs normal cellular division which occurs during embryonic and fetal development. Less Folic Acid = fewer cells. Taking Folic Acid before pregnancy decreases the risk of having a fetus with either a neural tube defect or a cardiac defects.

Related Questions

Why is fetus at risk if folate (folic acid) deficiency?

Folate (folic acid) Folate is a co-factor used in cellular division. If there is a deficiency of folic acid, cells won't be able to divide properly. The net result is fewer cells. In a developing human this is associated with neural tube defects and cardiac defects. Read more...

When is the fetus most vulnerable to folic acid teratogens?

Folic acid. Fetus is most vulnerable during the earliest times right after conception and first trimester when the neural tube is forming. Read more...

Does folic acid help reduce the risk of fetal abnormalities?

Yes. Folic acid helps reduce the incidence of spina bifida. You can get Folic Acid by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. You can also take an adult multivitamin every day. Read more...
Yes. It is especially important in treating or preventing brain and spinal cord defects that might develop during pregnancy. Read more...

What is the dose of folic acid to prevent all fetal malformations?

400 ug. This is the minimum dosing for routine pregnancy without any other circumstances that might require more such as elevated homocysteine, twins, or history of neural tube defect. Read more...
5 mg. Most of the severe (not all) fetal malformations can be prevented with preconceptional Folic Acid (for at least 3 months before conception). Expect 75% of cardiac defects and >90% of neural tube defects to be prevented thus. Read more...

My serum folate (folic acid) is 16.4ug/L & B12 is 221ug/L & serum ferritin is 22ug/L. Why is folate (folic acid) on the high end of normal & others on the low end of normal?

Nothing to worry abt. These are all in the normal range, and there is some give and take regarding the laboratory ability to give an exact value. Don't worry about these values unless they are way higher or way lower than normal. Read more...

What's the difference between folate, folic acid?

Synthetic v natural. Folate (folic acid) is the naturally occurring form of the b vitamin. Folic acid is the synthetic form. Synthetic Folic Acid is mostly absorbed, folate (folic acid) only partially. Read more...

Is there a difference between folate and folic acid?

Yes. Folates (folic acid) occur naturally in foods and are biologically active. Folic acid is the oxidized form of folate (folic acid). It is made synthetically and widely used as a food supplement. In the body it is converted by the liver to active forms of folate (folic acid) in a 2 step process. Read more...
No. Folic acid, AKA folate (folic acid) (vit B9), is recommended for all women wanting to get pregnant -- 0.4mg (400mcg) daily, which is important for preventing birth defects like spina bifida. Women w/ a hx these disorders should take 10x that amt daily -- 4mg (4000mcg) through the 3rd month of pregnancy. It won't affect fertility, chances of conception/twins, or periods. Can help with anemia. Read more...
Yes. Folic acid is synthetic, and is converted very slowly to active folate. The unconverted folic acid does bad things, including down-regulate folate receptors. Avoid folic acid, and instead take natural folates. Read more...