Folic acid. Computer model of a molecule of the water-soluble vitamin folic acid (vitamin B9 or folate, C19.H19.N7.O6). The atoms (solid tubes) of this organic molecule are colour-coded: carbon (yellow), oxygen (red), hydrogen (grey) and nitrogen (blue). Folic acid, found in leafy vegetables, is required for foetal development in pregnancy. It also ensures normal red blood cell formation and helps to maintain a healthy central nervous system. Folate deficiency can lead to the development of forms of anaemia and leukaemia. Small amounts of vitamins are an essential part of a healthy diet, providing enzyme cofactors for the varied biochemistry of body metabolism.
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