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Why Taking Folic Acid Is A Good Choice For Pregnancy

Pregnant women require a constant supply of nutrients to ensure that their babies grow normally. One of such nutrients is folic acid. But what is it exactly and why is it crucial? Let’s take a quick look.

“Women who are deficient in folate might experience extreme fatigue and lack of energy. This is brought by anemia.”

What Is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate or vitamin B9. Folate plays a vital role in the synthesis of DNA. It also helps in the development of blood cells and the growth of the brain and spinal cord. This makes it an essential component of proper childbirth. Folate is found in a variety of food sources, including:

• Legumes
• Asparagus
• Eggs
• Green leafy vegetables
• Citrus fruits
• Nuts and seeds
• Beef liver

All women of childbearing age are recommended to have a daily folate intake of at least 400 micrograms. In the case of pregnancy, they might need to increase their intake as prescribed by their doctors.

Folate Deficiency

An unbalanced diet that lacks any of the above foods can lead to folate deficiency. People suffering from conditions like Crohn's disease or celiac disease may also have a difficult time metabolizing and absorbing the nutrient. This makes them especially susceptible to deficiency during pregnancy.

Women who are deficient in folate might experience extreme fatigue and lack of energy. This is brought by anemia. They can also suffer from breathing difficulty and heart palpitations, as well as the loss of appetite. All of these conditions have an impact on the growth of the baby they carry.

Neural Tube Defects

The neural tube is the collection of nerves in the fetus that eventually develops into the spinal cord and brain. It starts forming within the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. Any issues during this development period can result in a variety of ailments for the newborn.

Spina bifida is one such condition. It occurs when the neural tube fails to close properly, leaving a gap in the baby’s spinal cord. This gap can then interfere with the messages sent down from the brain to the parts of the body below the gap.

People with mild spina bifida experience relatively few symptoms or nothing at all. However, severe forms of the disease result in the spinal cord bulging through the gap. This can lead to symptoms like leg weakness, poor bladder control, and loss of sensations in affected parts of the body. The condition has also been linked to certain learning disabilities.

Taking In Folic Acid

While folate is naturally present in a variety of food items, it might still be not enough to meet a pregnant woman’s daily requirement. That is particularly the case if she doesn’t have the right kind of diet pre-pregnancy. This is where folic acid supplements come in.

Folic acid supplements are specially formulated to contain the right amount of folic acid to meet daily requirements. Find out more about folic acid supplements by visiting this page.

REFERENCES

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/about.html
  2. https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/why-take-folic-acid-pregnant-spina-bifida
  3. https://www.webmd.com/baby/folic-acid-and-pregnancy#1
  4. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/preg-folic-acid.html
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/folic-acid


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