Folate (vitamin B9) is an essential water-soluble vitamin, naturally present in food, especially in fruits, green leafy vegetables, and liver. Folic acid is the synthesized form of folate and has a higher bioavailability than naturally occurring folate. Folic Acid is required for DNA replication and as a substrate for a range of enzymatic reactions involved in amino acid synthesis and vitamin metabolism. Folic acid helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer. Demands for Folic Acid increase during pregnancy because it is also required for growth and development of the fetus. Dietary supplementation with folic acid around the time of conception has long been known to prevent congenital disabilities especially neural tube defects in the offspring.