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Folic Acid

Introduction, Products, Patents, Process, Study, Company Profiles, Consultants

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Information @ a Glance

  • Folic acid, sometimes called folate, is a B vitamin (B9) found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, orange juice, and enriched grains.

  • Folic acid is a manmade form of folate. Folate is found naturally in some foods. Most women do not get all the folic acid they need through food alone.

  • Folic acid is found naturally in some foods, including leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans (legumes), and whole grains.

  • Fortification of food with folic acid to prevent neural-tube defects in babies also lowers plasma total homocysteine, which is a risk factor for vascular disease.

  • Folic acid is a water-soluble member of the B-complex family of vitamins. Folic acid is composed of three primary structures, a hetero-bicyclic pteridine ring, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), and glutamic acid.

  • Folic acidís primary mechanisms of action are through its role as a methyl donor in a range of metabolic and nervous system biochemical processes, as well as being necessary for DNA synthesis.

  • Folic acidís primary mechanisms of action are through its role as a methyl donor in a range of metabolic and nervous system biochemical processes, as well as being necessary for DNA synthesis.

  • Folate deficiency is a strong risk factor for embryological neural tube defects (NTD), and the additional intake of this vitamin in the form of folic acid, either through supplementation or through food fortification has proven to be an efficacious intervention to reduce the incidence of these abnormalities.

  • Folate is an essential micronutrient required in the synthesis and functional regulation of many macromolecules in living beings, including humans.

  • Folic acid (through diet and supplementation) has been proven to decrease or minimize specific birth defects including neural tube defects, congenital heart disease, urinary tract anomalies, oral facial clefts, limb defects, and pyloric stenosis.

  • In the recent times, there has been increasing hype over the benefits rendered by this vitamin from the government, media, and consumers. Moreover, it is the only B vitamin to enjoy the privilege of being mandated in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, Chile and the Czech Republic.

  • Folic acid is used in a number of industry segments including animal feed, food and beverage and pharmaceuticals. Folic acid is an indispensable product and has no threat of substitution owing to its unique functional characteristics.

  • Folic acid seems to have gained an edge over other B vitamins, with many countries moving towards the fortification regime. Alhough the law over mandating fortification is still under scrutiny in Europe, the folic acid market is poised towards growth, with increasing consumer awareness over its associated health benefits.

  • Recent epidemiological studies have provided strong evidence that poor maternal folic acid status  around the time of conception is a strong risk factor for giving birth to a child with a neural tube defect. For this reason, several national and international agencies have advocated that women of childbearing age increase folic acid intakes by consuming folic acid supplements, foods naturally high in folic acid, or foods fortified with folic acid.

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