Folic acid and folate are forms of vitamin B9. They, however, affect the body in different ways. Certain groups of the population are at risk of having insufficient vitamin B9 levels, and this includes pregnant women. Vitamin B9 deficiency can cause a host of health problems can arise such as elevated homocysteine, birth defects, and even cancer.
The main difference between folic acid and folate is that folic acid is the manufactured synthetic form while folate is the natural form. When our bloodstream contains a high level of unmetabolized folic acid, health issues occur which also masks a vitamin B12 deficiency. That is the reason you should take folate rather folic acid since folate does not have the side effects associated with folic acid.
To find out more about how folate and folic acid is different, check out the infographic below.