Applications: Alcoholism, anemia, arteriosclerosis, baldness, diarrhea, depression, mental illness, mental retardation, immune system, birth-defect prevention, fatigue, ulcers, stress, blood disorders.
Scientific Data: Various studies support the use of folic acid supplementation during and after pregnancy to prevent birth defects and post-partum depression.
Depleting Agents: Oral contraceptives, high heat, alcohols, stress, coffee, sulfa drugs, tobacco, estrogen, barbiturates, dilantin, oral pancreatic extracts. Note: A tongue that is red and sore may indicate a folic acid deficiency.
Sources: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard and beet tops, legumes, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, oranges, whole grains, root vegetables.
Interactions: Folic acid works in tandem with choline, vitamin B12 and B6.
Recommendations: Folate is the most common form of this vitamin. Folinic acid is also a source and is considered by some experts to be the most bioavailable type.