Folic Acid Vitamin B9
Folic acid is the synthetic form of the B vitamin folate. Folic acid is necessary for the synthesis of nucleic acids and the formation of red blood cells. Folic-acid deficiency most commonly causes folic-acid-deficiency anemia. Symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, such as sore tongue, cracks at the corners of the mouth, diarrhea, and ulceration of the stomach and intestines. Large doses of folic acid can cause convulsions and other nervous-system problems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations require enriched grain products to contain this essential vitamin. Current studies have discovered a link between folic acid and brain function in older people. The study divided 818 people ages 50 to 75 to take either a vitamin containing 800 micrograms of folic acid a day, or a dummy pill, for three years. On memory tests, the supplement users had scores comparable to people 5.5 years younger, Durga said. On tests of cognitive speed, the folic acid helped users perform as well as people 1.9 years younger.