Harvard Women's Health Watch

Ask the doctor: Does folic acid improve immunity?

Q. What do you know about taking extra folic acid to boost the immune system?

A. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin that occurs naturally in some foods, including vegetables, fruits, and dried beans and peas — and is essential for health. Folate is vital for the production and maintenance of our bodies' cells, especially during rapid periods of growth, such as pregnancy and infancy. It's needed to make DNA and RNA, the genetic material that dictates cell functions, and it helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer.

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