Light micrograph (LM) of Vitamin B9 (folic acid) crystals. Vitamin B9 (folic acid, folate is the anion form) is a water soluble B-complex vitamin (formerly known as Vitamin M) that is important in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs) in the developing human foetus. Folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin that is found in supplements and fortified foods. Folate, the anion form of folic acid, occurs naturally in food. It is important for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially necessary during both pregnancy and infancy when cell growth is extremely rapid. Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and to prevent anaemia. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. It also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Magnification: x25 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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