Folic acid (sometimes called folate) is a water-soluble B vitamin that is naturally present in some foods and added to enriched bread, cereals, pasta and other flour-based products.
The main function of folic acid is to promote red blood cell synthesis and prevent anemia.
Folic acid deficiency in infants and small children can slow growth rate, but the incidence of folic acid deficiency in the US is rare.
Folate and Folic Acid derive their names from the latin term folium, which means leaf.
Breastmilk* or baby formula meets 100% of infant folic acid needs.
* For breastmilk to supply infants with sufficient folate, mothers must consume plenty of folic acid during the breastfeeding period.
For children ages 1 to 3, the best source of folic acid is through foods.
The Nutrition Facts Label is a great place to discover how much folic acid is provided by an enriched food source.
Daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for ages 4 - adult.
of Folic Acid
A 3/4 cup of most fortified cereals provides 100% daily value of folic acid for children under age four.
Currently, there is no scientific evidence for recommending folic acid supplements for all preterm and low birth weight infants.
Low birth weight infants would seem to need more since folic acid is accumulated during the last three to six weeks of pregnancy.
Yet, clinical trials show that supplementing with folic acid does not increase hemoglobin and red blood cell counts very much.
Scientists do not agree on whether high levels of folic acid, from fortified foods and supplements can be harmful.
However, too much folic acid can mask the symptoms of B12 deficiency.
B12 deficiency leads to pernicious anemia, a condition characterized by low red blood cell counts.
of children ages 1 to 13 have intakes exceeding the UL of 300-600 mcg/day depending upon their age.