Folic Acid Helps More Than Just Neural Tube Closure
January 30, 2017Researches recently discovered that in addition to its important role in neural tube closure, folic acid may be linked to declines in congenital heart defects. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is essential in a healthy pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day at least one month before becoming pregnant to help prevent serious birth defects, including to a developing baby’s brain and spine.1
But now researchers believe that folic acid may play a role in reducing other birth defects. According to the American Heart Association, consuming this B vitamin is associated with reduced rates of congenial heart defects. After controlling for outside influences such as maternal age, multiple births, pregnancy complications, prenatal diagnosis and pregnancy miscarriages, researchers found that folic acid food fortification was associated with an 11 percent reduction in rates of congenital heart defects overall.2
Foods Fortified with Folic Acid
Realizing the importance of proper folic acid consumption in early pregnancy, the United States implemented mandatory fortification of enriched cereal grain products in 1998.3 This initiative adds 140 mg of folic acid per 100 g of enriched cereal grain, and is estimated to provide 100 mg to 200 mg of folic acid per day to women of child-bearing age.3 Chances are that your favorite breakfast cereal is an excellent source of folic acid. Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are also good sources.
Prenatal Vitamins with Folic Acid
While eating foods high in folic acid is recommended, a daily prenatal vitamin is a quick and easy way to obtain your daily recommended dose of folic acid. A daily prenatal vitamin is also an essential part of a pregnancy diet that supports the nutritional needs of both mothers and babies. Every Prenate® product meets or exceeds recommendations from the CDC for daily consumption of folic acid. Plus, Prenate® contains a form of folic acid that is highly absorbable and bioavailable to everyone. Designed for the needs of both moms and babies, Prenate® Vitamin Family helps fill nutritional gaps.Talk to your doctor to see which prenatal vitamin with folic acid is right for you.