Folic Acid (also known as
vitamin B9 or folate) is one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube
birth defects such as spina bifida, which affects about one in 1,000
pregnancies each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control
report that women who take the recommended daily dose of folic acid starting
one month before they conceive and throughout the first trimester reduce their
baby's risk of birth defects such as spina bifida by up to 70 percent.*
is reason enough to make sure you take folic acid before you get pregnant and
during pregnancy, but there may even be other benefits as well. Some studies
have shown that women who don't get enough folic acid may increase their risk
of miscarriage, as well as cleft lip and palate, limb defects, and certain
types of heart defects in their babies.*
is a B vitamin. Folic acid helps the body make healthy new cells. Health starts
with the individual cells of our body. If our cells are healthy so are we.
Healthy cells, in turn, depend on the continued, faultless replication of our
DNA. DNA can be seriously damaged through attacks by free radicals so an
adequate antioxidant status is essential to cell health. However, it is becoming
clear that antioxidants alone are not enough to protect our DNA; more and more
research points to the B vitamin folic acid as being equally or perhaps even
more important in ensuring proper DNA replication. It is not surprising that a
folic acid deficiency has been implicated in a wide variety of disorders from
Alzheimer's disease to atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis,
cervical and colon cancer, depression, dementia, cleft lip and palate, hearing
loss, and of course, neural tube defects.*
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unfortunately, estimated that 88 per cent of all North Americans suffer from a
folic acid deficiency. Obviously, the standard diet does not supply what we
need. This has led to the fortification of cereals and other foodstuffs to try
to ensure a minimum daily intake of 0.4 mg/day. Although beans and green
vegetables like spinach and kale are good sources of folic acid, relatively few
people eat lots of vegetables and cooking destroys most of the Folate anyway.
Realizing the poor availability from the diet many medical researchers now
advocate daily supplementation with folic acid. Because folic acid needs the
catalysts vitamins B12 and B6 to carry out its functions effectively it is
usual to supplement with a combination of the three. Dosage recommendations for
folic acid vary between 0.4 mg/day and 10 mg/day or more depending on the
severity of the deficiency and the health problem to be overcome. The RDA for
adults is now 0.4 mg/day and 0.6 mg/day for pregnant women. Recommendations for
vitamin B12 generally range from 0.5 to 1.0 mg/day and for vitamin-B6 from 10
to 250 mg/day.*
with folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 costs only pennies a day and yet it is
indeed hard to imagine an investment that would pay greater dividends in
protecting your health.
needs this nutrient for the production, repair, and functioning of DNA, our
genetic map and a basic building block of cells, so getting enough is
particularly important for the rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy.
Folate is also required for a complex metabolic process that involves the
conversion of one amino acid in your blood (homocysteine) into another amino
acid (methionine). If you don't get enough folate, you can end up with too much
homocysteine in your blood, which is thought to contribute to some birth
defects. Elevated levels of homocysteine in pregnancy also have been linked to
blood clots, placental abruption, recurrent miscarriages, and stillbirth.
Researchers are trying to find out whether taking folic acid throughout
pregnancy decreases your risk for these problems. Finally, folate helps make
normal red blood cells, prevent anemia, and produce the nervous system
chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin.*
Why should women take folic acid?
need folic acid. When a woman has enough folic acid before and during
pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of her baby’s brain or
Be sure to
get enough folic acid every day. Start before you are pregnant. Folic acid is
needed during the first few weeks, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.
And half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are not planned. That is why it’s so
important to start taking folic acid each day, even when you are not planning
to get pregnant.*
might also have other benefits for men and women of any age. Some studies show
that folic acid might help prevent heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and
possibly Alzheimer’s disease.*
in the United States have an adequate dietary intake of folic acid because it
is plentiful in the food supply.
way and of course most efficient way is through supplementation. LifeSource Vitamins - Folic acid (also known as vitamin B9
or folate) is one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth
defects such as spinabifida, which affects about one in 1,000 pregnancies each
year in the United States.*
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*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
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
since 1992. Other articles and information are based on the opinions of
the authors, who retain 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.