Biochemistry – Folic acid and its most essential coenzyme THFA

Sources, absorption and coenzyme functions of Folate

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Folic acid

  • Folic acid is abundant in vegetables. 
  • It is composed of three constituents. 
  1. The pteridine group linked with 
  2. Para amino benzoic acid (PABA) is called pteroic acid
  3. It is then attached to glutamic acid to form pteroyl glutamic acid or folic acid.
  • In nature, polyglutamates are seen where up to seven glutamate residues are linked to the pteroyl group. 
  • Folacin is the generic name for such folic acid related compounds. 
  • Folic acid is soluble in water. 
  • When exposed to light, it is rapidly destroyed.

Sources of Folic acid

  • Rich sources of folate are:
  1. Yeast,
  2. Green leafy vegetables.
  • Moderate sources are:
  1. Cereals,
  2. Pulses, Oil seeds and
  3. Egg.
  • Milk is a poor source for folic acid.

Absorption of Folic acid

  • Folic acid is readily absorbed by the upper part of jejunum.
  • In the blood, it is transported by beta globulins.
  • It is taken up by the liver where the co-enzymes are produced.
  • Folic acid is not stored in tissues.

Coenzyme functions of Folic acid

  • Folic acid is first reduced to 7,8-dihydrofolic acid and then further reduced to 5,6,7,8-tetrahydro folic acid (THFA)
  • Both reactions are catalyzed by NADPH dependent¬†folate reductase.
  • The THFA is the carrier of one-carbon groups.
  • One carbon compound is an organic molecule that contains only a single carbon atom.
  • These ONE CARBON compounds are attached …

FOR COMPLETE LESSON PLEASE VISIT THE VITAMINS TOPIC IN THE BIOCHEMSITRY I, THEN CLICK CURRICULUM TO VIEW THE COMPLETE LIST OF TOPICS.

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