Folate is a vitamin of the B group, found in leafy green vegetables and legumes. It plays an important role in DNA synthesis and is therefore necessary for the duplication and growth of cells.
At times of increased growth, for example during childhood or pregnancy, an individual’s folate requirement is increased. Many health problems can be caused by folate deficiency – neural tube defects in infants born to women with folate deficiency are of particular concern. For this reason, it is recommended that all pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy take folate supplements.