Folate is a water soluble B vitamin and functions as a co-enzyme in a variety of biological reactions. The synthetic form of the vitamin (called folic acid) has been associated with reducing the risk of neural tube defects, serious birth defects of the brain and spine. It is recommended that all women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from vitamin supplements, fortified foods, or both while also consuming natural food folate from a varied diet. An 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice represents a good source of natural folate and is one of the few 100% fruit juices that provides substantial amounts of folate.
Folic acid supplements and fortification affect the risk for neural tube defects, vascular disease and cancer: Evolving science. (Bailey LB, et al. Journal of Nutrition. 2003;133:1961S-1968S.)