Friday, July 5, 2013

Folic acid is very important during pregnancy

Folic acid is a type of B vitamin needed for healthy development of the fetus

Folic acid is the synthetic form of the B vitamin found in dark green leaves of plants, citrus fruits, beans and whole grains. Plays an important role in the development of the spine and the brain of the fetus. It would be ideal to start eating foods and supplements containing folic acid for two to three months before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy.



Folic acid deficiency can cause severe birth defects of the brain and is known as neural tube defects. In some cases, there is no noticeable signs of folic acid, it is diagnosed in pregnant women after childbirth as neural tube defects. In most cases, your doctor will recognize the lack of blood tests and ultrasound during pregnancy.

If women take the recommended amount of folic acid before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy, prevents 50-70% of neural tube defects. However, recent research by March of Dimes shows that many women are unaware of the importance of folic acid.

Where can I find folic acid?

There are many ways to get the body with folic acid. It is available in tablets of folic acid, multivitamins, breads, rice, pasta and cereals. Most of these foods contain about 10% of the recommended daily amount, and a few grains of folic acid for the whole day. Enough folic acid by eating large quantities of liver, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, whole grains, dried beans and peas.

How Much Do I Need?

The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board recommends the following: adults need to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. Future pregnant women should receive this amount and supplements and to be sure to take sufficient daily intake.

Women who have had a previous pregnancy with a neural tube defect should take a higher dose of folic acid for their next pregnancy for at least 4 milligrams a day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: If I take enough folic acid, my child will have a neural tube defect?

Answer: It will certainly help, but taking a supplement containing folic acid does not guarantee that your baby will be born with a defect. Almost half of the 2,500 cases of neural tube defects per year caused by a deficiency of folic acid, below and other risk factors for this damage: occurrence of neural tube defects in the family, neural tube defects in previous pregnancies, taking certain medicines to treat seizures, extreme obesity, sitting in a hot tub or Jacuzzi during early pregnancy, fever early in pregnancy, diabetes.

Question: What should I look for in a supplement containing folic acid?

Answer: Food supplements must contain at least 400 micrograms of folic acid and not more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A and D. On taking folic acid should begin two or three months before conception to increase the chances of a child's health.

Question: If folic acid is so important, why women are not taken?

Answer: Some women do not like to take vitamins and some have stomach problems when taking prenatal vitamins. Also, for some people it is often difficult to change your eating habits. The research is based on the importance of folic acid is relatively new. Until recently, few doctors inform their patients about the need to take folic acid before conception. 

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