How does folic acid contribute to your health? Your body needs folate to synthesize and repair DNA, and therefore produce new, healthy cells. Red blood cells couldn’t work properly without folate, which would make it impossible for nutrients to reach your organs and systems through the bloodstream, causing severe anemia. Folate also aids fast division and growth, which is exactly the type of division involved in wound healing, pregnancy and infancy. Folate deficiency leads to serious health issues like neurological defects in newborns, cognitive decline, anemia, nerve damage, numbness, headaches and behavioral disorders.