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What is Folate??

∑ Folate is a member of the group B vitamins.  It is also known as folacin or folic acid.
∑ Vitamin B12 is needed to ensure our bodies can easily absorb folate.

Functions of Folate

∑ Aids in the formation of new body cells
∑ Helps in passing on hereditary features by moving the inforation carried by proteins from the genes to cells
∑ Makes red and white blood cells
∑Takes part in the utilisation of fats in our bodies
∑ Folate is especially important for women planning to fall pregnant as folate helps to prevent neural tube defects (that is, problems with the development of the spine or brain).
∑ Studies have shown that folate lowers serum homocystine levels.  Note - High homocystine levels are a cardiac risk factor.
∑ Adequate intake required for the sensation of taste along with zinc & Vitamin A and Vitamin B12.

Sources of Folate

∑ Leafy green vegetables, for example, broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, endive lettuce and cabbage.
∑ Legumes, for example, chickpeas, red kidney beans, black eye beans and soybeans
∑ Yeast extracts, that is, Vegemiteš & Marmiteš
∑ Liver
∑ Peanuts, almonds, hazel nuts, cashews
∑ Egg, yolk
∑ Sweet corn
∑ Sweet potatoes
∑ Bananas
∑ Strawberries
∑ Orange Juice
∑ Green peas & green beans
∑ Wholegrain bread & cereals
∑ Wheat germ, wheat bran
∑ Some bread & cereals have had folate added to them.  Look at the food label on the product.

NOTE: Brand Names used are not endorsed by this website.



1. Stanton, R.  (1996)  Rosemary Staton's Complete Book of Food & Nutrition. NSW, AUST.

2. Wahlqvist, M & Briggs, D.  (1988)  Food Facts.  NSW, AUST.

3. Escott-Stump, S. (1997)  Nutrition & Diagnosis - Related Care. US

4. Mahan, L & Escott-Stump, S. (2000) Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy.  US


1. NSW HEALTH & NORTHCOTT SOCIETY.  Vitamin Folate - Important Message for Women. NSW, AUST.


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