Folic acid deficiency and vision: a review

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2019 Aug;257(8):1573-1580. doi: 10.1007/s00417-019-04304-3. Epub 2019 Mar 27.


Folic acid (FA), also termed folate, is an essential vitamin for health at all ages since it participates in the biosynthesis of nucleotides, amino acids, neurotransmitters, and certain vitamins. It is therefore crucial for rapidly growing tissues such as those of the fetus. It is becoming clear that FA deficiency and impaired folate pathways are implicated in many diseases of both early life and old age. FA can be transported into the cell by the folate receptor, the reduced folate transporter, and proton-coupled folate transporter. Folate transport proteins are present in certain eye tissues, which explains why FA plays an important role in eye development. The purpose of this literature review is to investigate the evidence relating FA deficiency to eye diseases.

Keywords: Eye disease; Folate receptors; Folic acid deficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eye Diseases* / blood
  • Eye Diseases* / etiology
  • Eye Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Folic Acid / blood*
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Folic Acid Deficiency* / blood
  • Folic Acid Deficiency* / complications
  • Folic Acid Deficiency* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Folic Acid