How to Protect a Pregnancy with Folic Acid

Adequate levels of vitamin B folic acid during pregnancy helps protect the developing fetus tube defects neural such as spina bifida. However, many women are not getting as much vitamin as they should, says the Working Group Preventive Services of the United States.

prenatal vitamins may not be the first Enough:

The group offers advice based on evidence of Americans on staying healthy says less than a third of women of childbearing age take a supplement containing folic acid. Because the neural tube from a very early fetus develops, the need for adequate amounts of the vitamin is also very early in development. Some women do not realize they are pregnant until after it has passed the most critical moment.

That would mean they could not start prenatal vitamins in time. Therefore, the USPSTF recommends regular multivitamin with 0.4 or 0.8 milligrams of folic acid for all women who have a chance of getting pregnant.

USPSTF, online May 10, 2016

Folate , the form of vitamin B found in food is essential even for people who are not pregnant. The vitamin is necessary for proper cell division, and deficiencies can lead to a type of anemia that can cause fatigue.

Dietary sources of folate:

large amounts of dietary folate found in foods such as green leafy vegetables. (In fact, that is where the term “folic acid” comes as the Latin name of the sheet is folium ). Other rich sources are fruits, nuts and legumes such as peas, lentils and beans. Eggs, seafood and whole grains also contribute to folate diet.

Americans eat lots of vegetables and fruits, as we are so often recommended to do so may be getting enough of this vitamin B in their diets already. But those who rely more on processed foods or fast food options may end up with too little benefit in their diets and supplements. It would make sense for pre-menopausal women to assess their own diets honestly and take a multivitamin if you are not eating a lot of vegetables and legumes.

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