Folic Acid

Essential Vitamin For Health

What is it and where does it come from?

Folic acid is a water-soluble B-vitamin that helps build healthy cells. “Water soluble” means it does not stay in your body for very long, so you need to take it every day to help prevent neural tube defects.

During periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and fetal development, the body’s requirement for this vitamin increases.

There Are Two Different Forms Of Folic Acid:

Synthetic form. This form is found in:

  • multivitamins
  • fortified bread and grain products, like breakfast cereals
  • folic acid prescriptions (Women at increased risk for spina bifida need a prescription for folic acid. Please speak with your health care provider.)

Natural form (also called “folate”). This form is available in foods like:

  • leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach
  • some fruits and juices, like orange juice
  • Our bodies absorb the synthetic form of folic acid more easily than the natural form

Folic Acid Recommendation

SBAA advises the 60 million women of childbearing age not to depend on food alone for folic acid. SBAA urges women to follow the 1992 U.S. Public Health Service folic acid recommendations which are; Women who could become pregnant should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid through a vitamin. (This amount is also written as 0.4 milligrammes (mg).

Many things can affect a baby, including family genes and things women may come in contact with during pregnancy. Taking folic acid cannot guarantee to have a healthy baby, but it can help. Since NTDs occur early in pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant, it is important to take folic acid every day.

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