ChEBI: An N-acyl-amino acid that is a form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Its biologically active forms (tetrahydrofolate and others) are essential for nucleotide biosynthesis and homocysteine remethylation.
Odorless orange-yellow needles or platelets. Darkens and chars from approximately 482°F.
Folic acid (folate) is a kind of B-vitamin which is mainly present in the liver and kidney. It has various kinds of pharmacological and physiological effects. It is involved in amino acid metabolism, purine and pyrimidine synthesis, and is also essential for hematopoiesis and red blood cell generation. In women pregnancy, folate can effectively prevent neural tube defects in the baby. It plays important role in fertility through contributing to spermatogenesis. It can also reduce the incidence of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Folate deficiency may lead to various kinds of diseases including glossitis, diarrhea, depression, confusion, anemia, and fetal neural tube defectsand brain defects (during pregnancy). Other symptoms may include fatigue, gray hair, mouth sores, poor growth, and swollen tongue.
A vitamin needed to synthesize DNA, conduct DNA repair and methylate DNA, it also acts as a cofactor in biological reactions involving folate.
Air & Water Reactions
Insoluble in water. Aqueous solutions have pHs of 4.0-4.8.
orange to yellow crystalline powder
If paper chromatography indicates impurities, then recrystallise it from hot H2O or from dilute acid [Walker et al. J Am Chem Soc 70 19 1948]. Impurities may be removed by repeated extraction with n-BuOH of a neutral aqueous solution of folic acid (by suspending in H2O and adding N NaOH dropwise till the solid dissolves, then adjusting the pH to ~7.0-7.5) followed by precipitation with acid, filtration, or better collected by centrifugation and recrystallised form hot H2O. [Blakley Biochem J 65 331 1975, Kalifa et al. Helv Chim Acta 6 1 2739 1978.] Chromatography on cellulose followed by filtration through charcoal has also been used to obtain pure acid. [Sakami & Knowles Science 129 274 1959.] UV: max 247 and 296nm ( 12,800 and 18,700) in H2O pH 1.0; 282 and 346nm ( 27.600 and 7,200) in H2O pH 7.0; 256, 284 and 366nm ( 24600, 24,500 and 86,00) in H2O pH 13 [Rabinowitz in The Enzymes (Boyer et al. Eds), 2 185 1960]. [Beilstein 26 III/IV 3944.]
Acid solutions of Folic acid are sensitive to heat, but towards neutrality, stability progressively increases. Solutions are inactivated by ultraviolet light and alkaline solutions are sensitive to oxidation. Folic acid is also inactivated by light. Folic acid is incompatible with oxidizing agents, reducing agents and heavy metal ions.
Flash point data for Folic acid are not available; however, Folic acid is probably combustible.