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Folic Acid is a water soluble form of the vitamin B-9. Folic Acid is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. In normal healthy adults, folic acid is primarily used in the production of red blood cells and is important in blocking anemia. Modern diets contains foods fortified with Folic Acid to meet the USRDA intake of 400 mcg per day. However the requirements for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant are substantially higher with a USRDA of 800 mcg per day. A developing fetus requires significant amounts of folate to stimulate production of new cells. Pregnant women with Folic Acid deficiencies have higher risk of congenital malformations including neural tube defects. Neural tube defects result in malformations of the spine (spina bifida), skull, and brain (anencephaly). Folic Acid has also been shown to increase short-term memory, mental agility and verbal fluency in people over 50. It is advised that seniors take Folic Acid in conjunction with a vitamin B-12 supplement as Folic acid may mask symptoms of a more serious vitamin B-12 deficiency.