Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for human health. It is involved in the production of red blood cells and DNA, and it also plays a role in preventing birth defects.
Most adults need 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid per day. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need 600 mcg per day.
Folic acid deficiency can lead to anemia, which is a condition where the body does not have enough red blood cells. It can also increase the risk of birth defects, such as spina bifida.