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Overview: Folate is an essential ingredient for healthy embryonic development. It is a vitamin that naturally exists in many foods, however, not all new mothers always had access to it. In 1998, Canada mandated that all grain products should incorporate Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate. After ingesting folate or folic acid, the mother’s body converts this vitamin into an active form that is crucial for embryonic development. It helps cells divide and helps build and maintain DNA.