Folic Acid: Prenatal Vitamin

Many women and future children benefit from the nutrients that prenatal vitamins provide. Despite the name women who are currently pregnant can also take prenatal vitamins. They are especially beneficial if you are in the middle of morning sickness and cant keep food down. In fact your body can absorb more synthetic folic acid from supplements than you can from natural foods.

Folic Acid is one of the more commonly known prenatal supplements. Its recommended that you get four hundred mcg daily as an adult and if you are pregnant, could become pregnant or lactating you should get between six hundred and eight hundred mcg. daily. This is plus the folic acid you get from food. So you may already have noticed that folic acid is considered very important.

It's been shown in studies to help reduce the number of birth defects in babies. Women who had low levels of folic acid in their blood gave birth more often to premature infants, low birth weight children, and babies with spina bifida, cleft palate and cleft lip, limb defects, heart defects and other neural tube defects. In fact by taking folic acid you can reduce the risk of giving birth to a baby with a neural tube defects as much as seventy percent.

Doctors sometimes recommend that you take up to four thousand mcg. of folic acid daily if youve previously given birth to a baby with a neural tube defect-and the sooner you start taking it before getting pregnant the better. Because your babys neural tube begins developing at three weeks which is about the earliest you can learn you are pregnant.

Your doctor will probably suggest that you get started on a prenatal vitamin during your first prenatal check-up if you havent already started one. Many doctors will provide a prescription for prenatal vitamins in high doses that you wouldnt normally get in one pill of over the counter prenatal vitamins. Although if you are having trouble keeping your prescription vitamins down you might be able to take some over the counter flavored chewable vitamins, just take more of them. Do talk with your doctor before doing this though.

Folic acid is needed by the body for the creation and maintenance of DNA and RNA. Thus folic acid is an essential part of the nutrients needed during the intensive process of pregnancy. Folic acid is also helpful in the creation of red blood cells so it can help prevent anemia, and aids in the production of nor epinephrine and serotonin and it helps to keep a compound called homocysteine from reaching high levels in your blood.

The upper limit for folic acid is set at one thousand mcg. But this is due to the fact that folic acid has a tendency to mask the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency as this deficiency usually presents initially with anemia. A healthy young woman should have no fear of B12 deficiency, except unless you are a vegetarian and dont eat dairy products.

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