Folic acid deficiency

The main cause is poor intake associated with old age, poverty and malnutrition, usually associated with alcoholism. It may be seen in malabsorption and regular medication with antiepileptic drugs such as phenytoin. 3 It is rarely, but very importantly, associated with pregnancy, when the demands of the developing foetus together with the needs of the mother outstrip the dietary intake—the so-called 'pernicious anaemia of pregnancy' which, if not recognised and treated immediately, can still be a fatal condition. Unlike Vitamin B12, folic acid is not stored in the body to any significant degree and requirements have to be satisfied by the daily dietary intake.

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