Folate helps keep your blood healthy. Not getting enough can cause a type of anemia. Having anemia means you have fewer healthy red blood cells than normal. This makes it hard for your blood to carry enough oxygen throughout your body.
Signs that you may have anemia:Feeling very tired Headache Sore mouth and tongue Pale skin
Folate can also help prevent some birth defects (problems with the baby). Getting enough folate before and during pregnancy can help prevent certain defects of the baby&apso;s spine and brain:Spina bifida is a problem with the spine. The nerves that control leg movements and other functions do not work. Children with spina bifida often have lifelong disabilities. They may also need many surgeries. Anencephaly is when most or all of the brain does not develop. Babies with this problem die before or shortly after birth.
Experts think that folate might also help prevent:Some cancers Alzheimer&apso;s disease Hearing loss as you age
More research is needed to know this for certain.
This answer is based on source information from The National Women's Health Information Center.