What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin with a molecular formula of C19H19N7O6. It is named because of its abundant content in green leaves, also known as diteroyl glutamate. There are several forms in nature, and its parent compound is a combination of pteridine, p-aminobenzoic acid and glutamic acid.
Also known as "Vitamin Bc" and "Vitamin M". One of the B vitamins. Yellow or orange flake or needle-like crystals, odorless and tasteless, heated to about 250°C, the color gradually becomes darker, and finally becomes a black gel. It is not easily soluble in water and ethanol, but easily soluble in acidic or alkaline solutions. Anti-anemia drug, the content of tea leaves reaches 50-70μg/100g, which promotes the formation of normal red blood cells. In tea tree material metabolism, it participates in the transmission of methyl groups.
How folic acid is absorbed?
Folic acid has two ways of active absorption and diffusion passive absorption in the body, and the absorption site is mainly in the upper small intestine. The absorption rate of reduced folic acid is higher. The more glutamyl group, the lower the absorption rate. Glucose and vitamin C can promote absorption. The absorbed folic acid is stored in the intestinal wall, liver, bone marrow and other tissues in the body, and is reduced by folate reductase to physiologically active tetrahydrofolate (THFA or FH4) with the participation of NADPH, which participates in the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines. Therefore, folic acid plays an important role in the process of protein synthesis and cell division and growth, and promotes the formation of normal red blood cells. Deficiency can cause reduced hemoglobin production in red blood cells and block cell maturation, leading to megaloblastic anemia.
The origin of folic acid
In 1931, doctor L. Wills of the Mumbai Obstetrics Hospital in India discovered that yeast or liver concentrate had a certain effect on the symptoms of megaloblastic anemia in pregnant women, and believed that these extracts contained some anti-anemia factor; 1935 Some people found that yeast and liver extract had a certain effect on the symptoms of anemia in monkeys, and described it as VM; in 1939, someone found a factor to fight anemia in the liver, called VBe; in 1941, HKMitchell et al. A factor of Streptococcus lactis is called folic acid. In 1945, when R.B.Angier and others were synthesizing pteroylglutamic acid, they found that all the above factors were the same substance and completed the structure determination, which was often called folic acid afterwards. Therefore, folic acid is also called vitamin B9, anti-anemia factor, pteroyl glutamate and so on.
Consequences of lack of folic acid
Folic acid is one of the essential vitamins for the growth and reproduction of body cells. The lack of it will affect the normal physiological activities of the human body. Many literature reports that lack of folic acid is directly related to neural tube defects, megaloblastic anemia, cleft lip and palate, depression, tumors and other diseases.
Folic acid deficiency can cause great harm to mothers and children, such as habitual miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight, fetal indigestion, and growth retardation. Many literature reports that senile dementia, depression and neonatal neurological abnormalities and other related encephalopathy diseases are all related to the lack of folic acid. In addition, the lack of folic acid may also cause tumors (uterine cancer, bronchial cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, etc.), chronic atrophic gastritis, colitis, coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases and other diseases, as well as other diseases such as glossitis and poor growth. , Mental deterioration and other symptoms. Adults who lack folic acid and drink too much alcohol may change the structure of their intestinal mucosa.