Vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, is crucial for several vital functions in the body. One of its primary roles is to support DNA synthesis and cell division, making it essential for the growth and development of tissues. Folate is particularly important during periods of rapid cell division, such as pregnancy, where it plays a pivotal role in preventing neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Additionally, Vitamin B9 is involved in the formation of red blood cells and helps convert food into energy.
Excellent dietary sources of folate include leafy green vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits, nuts, and fortified cereals. Ensuring an adequate intake of Vitamin B9 through a well-balanced diet contributes to overall health, particularly in supporting cell growth, division, and the prevention of certain birth defects.