[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
June 23, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(8):733. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670080041013

Folic acid is the official name for a pteroyl acid ester containing paraaminobenzoic acid and one molecule of glutamic acid. This compound is also known as pteroylglutamic acid or folacin. It is considered to be a member of the vitamin B complex and was first prepared synthetically in 1946.1 It has been shown to serve as an essential metabolite for a number of bacteria, including Lactobacillus casei and Streptococcus lactis R, and for growth and red cell development in the chick. It will cure certain nutritional macrocytic anemias in man and is active hematologically in pernicious anemia, although it does not prevent the development of neurological complications.

Folic acid occurs widely in nature, both free and in the form of conjugates containing either two or six additional glutamic acid groups. These can be converted to pteroylglutamic acid by the action of specific enzymes.2 Recently, evidence has accumulated that