What is Folic Acid?
Folate and Folic acid form part of the water soluble vitamin B complex. Folate being the natural variant found in foods with folic acid being the synthetic form which is used to fortify flour made from wheat and as a supplement to prevent and treat folate deficiency.
Folic Acid use in pregnancy
It is recommended the folic acid should before you plan to conceive and during pregnancy. The daily recommended dose is 400 micrograms (mcg).
Folic acid has an important role to play in blood cell production and in formation of the neural tube in babies during pregnancy. Therefore is it important in prevention of birth defects and anaemia.
Neural tube Defects
Birth defects occur early in pregnancy around the 3-6th week gestational age, Neural tube defects are amongst these birth defects.
Neural tube defects are defects that occur in the brain, spine and spinal cord. The most common types are anencephaly and spina bifida. Anencephaly is the partial or complete absence of the brain and skull, babies with this condition are usually still born or die shortly after birth. Spina bifida the foetal spinal column doesn’t close completely. There is usually nerve damage that causes at least some paralysis of the legs.
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