Folic acid is a B vitamin which is vital for the formation of red blood cells and of certain proteins including DNA. Folic acid is found naturally in a wide range of foods (folic acid in foods is called folate) and many foods are fortified with folic acid. Eating a balanced and varied diet will provide adequate amounts of folic acid for most children and adults. However, women who are planning on becoming pregnant require additional folic acid for the normal development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord. This additional amount of folic acid can be difficult to obtain from foods. Therefore, it is recommended that all women planning to become pregnant should take a daily supplement of 400µg (micrograms) of folic acid.