Folate is a B vitamin and is very important to women who may become pregnant. According to Florida birth defect data, there are 3.68 - 4.70 cases of spina bifida in every 10,000 live births in Northeast Florida alone. Spina bifida is when the spinal cord does not form as it should —and it may happen to unborn babies before the mother even knows she is pregnant. By increasing women’s folate intake, neural tube defects like spina bifida could be reduced up to 70 percent.
Synthetic folate found in vitamin form is called folic acid. While folate is found in some foods, experts recommend that all women of childbearing age take a daily supplement that contains folic acid.
So what does folate do? It assists in creating DNA and healthy red blood cells.
It also reduces the risk of neural tube defects. New studies suggest that a
healthy amount of folate might also lessen the rate of heart ailments like
coronary disease and stroke.