Folic acid is a member of the vitamin family and is soluble in water. Its name is derived from the Latin word Folium which means leaf and was discovered in the '40s when it was extracted from spinach. It should be supplemented daily, due to the fact that the body can not store it for long periods of time. Low levels of folic acid are associated with an increased risk of heart disease through an increase in homocysteine. Half of the folic acid in food is depleted by cooking, processing and long-term storage, so supplementation with this vital nutrient is recommended.