“Folic Acid” — water-soluble B complex vitamin. Plays an important role in cell division, and thus is important to the development of the nervous system of the fetus. Folic acid can also reduce levels of homocysteine, preventing damage to the artery walls, and ultimately, atherosclerosis. Folic acid is easily absorbed directly from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Folates, however, must be processed by enzymes in the intestinal lining before they can be absorbed.