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Folic acid deficiency

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Folic acid deficiency

a nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of folic acid in the diet. Many plant and animal tissues contain folic acid, abundant in green leafy vegetables, yeast, liver, and mushrooms but destroyed by long-term cooking. Alcohol interferes with its intermediate metabolism and absorption. Folic acid deficiency may develop in long-term anticonvulsant therapy or with use of oral contraceptives. This deficiency causes anaemia, macrocytic anaemia, and megaloblastic anaemia. It is indistinguishable from vitamin b 12 deficiency in peripheral blood and bone marrow findings, but the neurologic lesions seen in b 12 deficiency do not occur. (merck manual, 16th ed)