Why is Folic Acid important for Conception and Pregnancy?
When you are trying to get pregnant, Folic acid should figure on top of your health checklist. Folic acid, also called folate or folacin, is one of the B vitamins, also known as B9. It is a vital raw material for production of red blood cells, as well as norepinephrine and serotonin (chemical components of the nervous system). Folic acid also helps to synthesize genetic material in every cell of the body and normalize brain function. Taking folic acid before conception reduces the risk of neural-tube defects such as spina bifida.
Why do I need folic acid?
Folic acid is one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida, which affects one in every 1,000 babies born in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control report that women who take the recommended daily dosage of folic acid reduce their baby's risk of some types of birth defects by 50 percent. Women who don't get enough may increase their chance of miscarriage or still births. Folate-deficiency anemia and iron-deficiency anemia can have the same symptoms of fatigue and weakness. A mild folate deficiency can also leave you grumpy or edgy.
How much Folic acid do I need?
The recommended daily intake of folic acid for all women of childbearing age is at least 400 micrograms (mcg), or 0.4 milligrams (mg). During pregnancy, the recommended dose jumps up to 600 - 800 mcg, or 0.6 - 0.8 mg, a day. If you have a family history of neural-tube defects, you should probably get 4,000 mcg (or 4 mg) of folic acid a day. Most prenatal vitamins contain the appropriate dosage of folic acid along with other vitamins that will help you stay healthy.
Women who have had their first child with a neural tube defect have a higher risk of having a second with the same defect. Healthcare providers now advise these women to take at least 4 milligrams (mg) starting one month before conception, if possible, and continuing through the first three months of pregnancy.
Talk to your doctor about how much you need before and after you conceive. Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, so your body will flush out the excess if you consume too much. For some women, there's an exception to this rule: Getting too much folate may hide a B-12 deficiency, sometimes a problem for vegetarians. Ask your doctor or midwife if you think you may be at risk.
Would a supplement be required?
A supplement will be a bonus. And eating plenty of folate rich foods won't hurt either, especially if you can't stomach your prenatal vitamin early on in your pregnancy due to morning sickness.
Which foods contain Folic acid?
Leafy green vegetables are a good source of folate. And manufacturers are now required by the FDA to add folic acid to enriched cereal grain products such as flour, pasta, and rice. So replace the regular cereals with these and add a bowl of fresh salad to your daily diet. Other sources of Folic acid include, chicken liver, beef liver, lentils, wheat germ, spears, asparagus, papaya, broccoli, cantaloupe, eggs, canned salmon.
E-mail Us: info@LifesourceVitamins.com
Call Us: 800.567.8122
We Are Built on Compassion - Driven by Faith & Powered by
Questions? It can be overwhelming we know. Call us, we will walk you through what
supplements will help you and which ones you really don’t need. It’s
what we do!
*Disclaimer: None of the above statements
have been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure or prevent any disease. As always, consult your physician before
taking any and all supplements. LifeSource Vitamins. Individual results may
Disclaimer: All the
information contained throughout this website is based upon the opinion of the
founder of LifeSource Vitamins, Bruce Brightman, and the entire team at
LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies have been ongoing on
since 1992. Other articles and
information are based on the opinions of the authors, who retains the copyright
as marked on the article. The
information on this site is not intended to replace your health care
professional, but to enhance your relationship with them. Doing your own studying and research and
taking your health care into your own hands is always best, especially in
partnership with your health care professional.
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have any medical
conditions, always consult your health care professional before taking
supplements based on the information on this site.