Folic acid is necessary for proper brain function. It is concentrated in the spinal and extracellular fluids. It is essential for mental and emotional health. Folic acid increases the appetite and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It also aids in liver function. The word “folate” has the same root as “foliage”, because it is found in fresh produce. Another role for folic acid may be in allergies. Research appearing in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Volume 123, Issue 6; 1253-1259.e2, June 2009) looked at the connection between folate levels and allergy symptoms. Researchers looked at results from the 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in which serum folate and total IgE levels (IgE are antibodies indicating allergic response) were measured in 8083 subjects 2 years of age and older. IgE levels were inversely associated with folate levels. Furthermore, individuals with low folate levels were more likely to report allergies, wheezing or asthma.