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results in a selective antibacterial effect because susceptible bacteria cannot utilize preformed folate from the environment.

It was soon noted that PteGlu and naturally occurring folates differed in that the natural forms had a reduced ring B of the pteridine moiety; more than one Glu attached, which is referred to as pteroylpolyglutamates (PteGlun); and a single carbon unit attached to the nitrogen at position 5 or 10. As a result, it was first recommended that folic acid be used to denote the fully oxidized, monoglutamate form without the single carbon unit and folate was used to denote all forms that possess biological activity as the vitamin. Currently, folate (the preferred term) specifically refers to pteroylglutamate and folic acid refers to pteroyl-glutamic acid.200 Folate can also be used generically to refer to any of the members of the group of pteroylgluta-mates, their mixtures, differing one-carbon substituents, level of reduction, or number of glutamate residues. Because of this dual use of the term folate, the authors have chosen to use the term folate only in its generic sense throughout this chapter. This will avoid confusion with the fully oxidized form, folic acid, which is the major form available for vitamin supplementation.

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