Folic Acid: Why Is It Important?

Everyone needs the B vitamin, folic acid. But for women who can get pregnant, it is especially important. If a woman already has enough folic acid in her body when she becomes pregnant, it can help prevent major birth defects in her baby’s brain and spine. Doctors recommend that women of child-bearing age take 400 mcg of folic acid every day, starting at least one month before getting pregnant and during pregnancy. Here are two easy ways to be sure you get enough folic acid each day:

■ Take a daily multivitamin that contains 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid. Check the label to be sure it contains 100% of the daily value (DV) of folic acid, which is 400 mcg.

■ Eat a bowl of cereal that has 100% of the daily value of folic acid every day. Not every cereal has this amount. Check the label on the side of the box.


— Source: Centers for Disease Control


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