Folic Acid: Everything you need to know about this essential pregnancy vitamin

What is folic acid, what is it used for and where is it found?

This water-soluble vitamin plays several important roles in the body.
First of all, it promotes formation Red blood cells, which are necessary to supply the body’s organs with oxygen. She is also involved production of genetic material through DNA.

Vitamin B9 plays a valuable role in the brain, nervous system and immune system.

Like all vitamins, vitamin B9 the body is not synthesized and must therefore be provided food.
“It simply came to our notice then leafy green vegetables – hence the name folic acid, such as cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, spinachin lamb salads, but also in citrus fruits such as oranges, legumes such as lentils and chickpeas or whole grains, ”says Raphaël Gruman. A varied diet rich in vegetables is usually sufficient to meet daily needs Folic acidexcept during pregnancy.

Why use folic acid in early pregnancy?

Although it is found in many foods, vitamin B9 supplements are essentialyears pregnancy. “It simply came to our notice then fetal development at all stages of its growth, ”explains the nutritionist.
This is too first trimester of pregnancy that its role is particularly important because the fetal nervous system is properly constructed in the first weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid is especially important for well-being neural tube closure. This stage occurs from the 21st to the 28th day of pregnancy and is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Risks: Is vitamin B9 serious not to take and is it mandatory?

Vitamin B9 is highly recommended a woman who wants to give birthas much as there is potential shortage may have serious consequences for the baby. However, the need for folic acid is greatly increasing, so a variety of diets are no longer enough to meet them. “Pregnant women can be very at risk risk of fetal malformations ranging from fetal developmental abnormalities to an increased risk of preterm birth, and miscarriage “- says a nutritionist.

Nerve tube closure defect can be the cause of two major birth defects in babies:

  • spina bifida : which increases the baby’s intracranial pressure, so in 9 out of 10 cases a lifelong valve is needed in the brain;
  • anencephaly : As a result, there is almost no brain and scalp.

These two pathologies are most commonly diagnosed before childbirth and are most commonly caused Abortions. Some studies also show that vitamin B9 protects against heart abnormalities, lip and lip cracking.

This risk of deficiency is increased in the case of multiple pregnancies, near pregnancies or long-term breastfeeding.

When to take folic acid supplements during pregnancy?

Vitamin B9 deficiency is very common in the general population and therefore in women of childbearing potential. In the case of a proven deficiency, a taking vitamin B9 In early pregnancy, it may be too late to increase the amount of vitamin in the body before the neural tube closes.
Therefore, there is fit is strongly recommended that food supplements be started as soon as possible,ideally at least a month before conception.

Raphaël Gruman nutritionist “Folic acid deficiency includes anemia, indigestion, neurological disorders and damage to mucous membranes such as the gums.”

Folic acid can be taken at any time of the day: in the morning, at noon or in the evening without preference.

When to start taking folic acid before pregnancy?

It is ideal to start taking folic acidas soon as the child’s desire arises! Fromdiscontinue pillsor beforehand if programmed, the expectant mother may consult her gynecologist for an appointment– even if it is available without a prescription. It is always better to follow the recommendations of a specialist than to treat yourself.
Some food supplements are enriched with other nutrients that are not necessarily necessary or desirable for the expectant mother.

Does Folic Acid Help You Get Pregnant?

“Indeed, several studies suggest that folic acid supplementation would help create the genetic material of oocytes and embryo implantation in the womb “, confirms Raphaël Gruman.

Folic acid: how long and when to take it?

Health professionals recommend taking vitamin A. until the end of pregnancy and periodbreastfeedingbreastfeeding mothers. “Supplements during breastfeeding help to supplement vitamin B9 in breast milk so that it is passed on directly to the baby,” explains the nutritionist. Baby milk is fortified with folic acid.

Dosage: 0.4 mg or 5 mg of folic acid?

The recommended daily dose for a pregnant woman is 600 μg and from 500 μg for a breastfeeding woman. “Supplements are usually dosed 400 μg knowing that part of the folic acid is in the food. So, if you eat differently, it is not difficult to meet everyday needs, ”explains the nutritionist.

There are also tablets dosed after 5 mg folic acid: they are for women with pregnancy history with neural tube closure anomaly and those who are being treated with certain medications antiepileptic drugs can cause folic acid deficiency.

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