5-Methyltetrahydrofolate Figure 3 The structure of synthetic folic acid and the naturally occurring forms of the vitamin.

Furthermore, folate can be lost from food during cooking. While the prevalence of overt folate deficiency in those on adequate mixed diets is relatively uncommon, it is now clear that many people have elevations of the biochemical marker homocysteine, which can be decreased by increased status of folic acid or folate, certainly where such diets are not fortified with folic acid. This has led many to conclude that more people than previously suspected are at increased risk of impaired folate function, such as might put them at increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.

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